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Favorite Berry Recipes
Raspberries! Currants! Gooseberries! And more! Yum!
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The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers. Get it!
  Black Currant Coulis

The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
Page 190

I learned how to make black currant coulis from Tommie van de Kamp, who owns Queener Fruit Farm with her husband, Peter. They raise currants, which Tommie sells locally and by mail order. Black currants can be overpowering raw, but heating them magically mellows out the fruit’s fine flavor and creates a complex sauce that is divine.  Use it over red meat, duck, or other game birds, poached pears, drizzled on panna cotta, cheesecake, ice cream, or custard. But remember, a little bit goes a long way.
Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh black currants, rinsed and drained, or frozen black currants
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar, to taste
Directions:

Put the black currants and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and gently crush the berries with the back of a spoon as they simmer.   Cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Puree the mixture by pushing it through a fine strainer with the back of a spoon.  Stir in the sugar while the mixture is still warm. Cool and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

  Red Currant Sorbet

The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
Page 238

This recipe comes from Ed Mashburn, who grows red and black currants and gooseberries in Pennsylvania – the Northumberland Berry Works. A small scoop of this intensely flavorful sorbet accompanied by a cookie or two is a perfect summer dessert. Use this recipe for black currants and for other berries, too.
Makes 6 servings

  • Ingredients:

    • 2 pints (4 cups) fresh red or black currants, rinsed and drained, or frozen currants, thawed with juice
    • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
    • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Directions:
    Put the currants and orange juice in a food processor and puree.  Strain by pushing the fruit through a fine strainer with the back of a spatula. Stir in the sugar and freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Or follow the still-freeze method (see Note).

    Note: To use the still-freeze method, pour the sorbet mixture into an 8-inch-square pan or small metal bowl and put it in the freezer. Scrape the edges of the pan to release the frozen particles and stir them into the puree every 40 to 50 minutes, until it forms a firm slush.  Pour the mixture into a plastic container, cover tightly, and freeze. If the sorbet has been frozen overnight, let stand at room temperature for about 25 minutes before serving.

      Peak-of-the-Season Blueberry Pie

    The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
    Page 251

    What I like most about this pie is that only a cup of the berries are cooked – the rest are folded in at the end of the cooking time.  Before serving, the top is completely covered in a deep, decadent mound of whipping cream. Use this recipe only when you have the peak-of-the-season fresh fruit – it’s one of the premier pie recipes for letting the good flavors of the berries speak for themselves. (Frozen just won’t do).  Use it for fresh strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, too.  This recipe is often called strawberry or raspberry glace pie.

    Makes 6 servings

    Ingredients:

    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 2 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
    • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 ½ pints (3 cups) fresh peak-of-the-season cultivated blueberry, strawberries, or raspberries, plus a handful for garnish
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 baked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell made with Basic Pie Crust recipe
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions:

    Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Put the pan over medium heat and add 1 cup of the berries and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and turns clear instead of cloudy looking, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon juice, and the remaining 2 cups of blueberries.  Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

    Before serving, whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form, and spread on top of the filling.  Sprinkle a handful of blueberries on the top of the whipped cream.

      Fresh Raspberry Tart

    The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
    Page 261

    Award-winning food writer and Bon Appetit columnist Marie Simmons gave me this raspberry tart recipe.  “For years I made this only with blueberries, but I have also made it with raspberries, apricots, peaches, and figs. It is a family favorite, and usually I make two at a time, as one is never quite enough. The crust is made in the food processor and isn’t rolled out. Instead you use your fingertips to gently press the dough into a tart pan. It couldn’t be easier. And every time the crust is as tender as a butter cookie.”

    Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • ¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Filling

    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 ½ pints (5 cups) fresh raspberries, blueberries, or high-quality strawberries, rinsed and drained
    • Sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional)
  • Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Wipe an 11-inch tart pan with a removable rim with a paper towel dipped in a flavorless oil if the surface isn’t well seasoned.

    Combine the flour and sugar in a food processor. With the motor running, gradually add the butter through the feed tube.  Process until thoroughly incorporated.

    Stir the egg yolk and vanilla together in a cup.  With the motor running, gradually add egg mixture through the feed tube. Pulse the mixture until it begins to pull together.  If the mixture seems too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and process until a dough forms. The dough should be crumbly but not dry.

    Turn the dough out directly into the tart pan.  Press it up along the sides and on the bottom of the pan in a relatively even layer; the dough will have a rough surface.

      Raspberry-Gooseberry Duff with Lemon Sauce

    The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
    Page 301

    A duff is defined in the dictionary as a “boiled or steamed flour pudding often containing dried fruits.”  It is a variation of a dessert brought to this country by the English settlers. Today’s duffs are baked in the oven, but they still have that wonderful dense pudding like texture. My mother-in-law gave me this favorite Hibler family recipe that was passed down from my husband’s grandmother Grace Hibler. While it is traditionally made with huckleberries, I have found this recipe works well with most berries.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • Ingredients:

    • 2 large eggs
    • About ¾ cup milk
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ to 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (cool or warm but not hot)
    • ½ cup fresh gooseberries, rinsed and drained, or frozen gooseberries
    • ½ cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained, or frozen raspberries
    • Lemon Sauce
    • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • Grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan.

    Break the eggs into a 1-cup measuring cup. Whisk with a fork, then fill the cup tot the top with milk.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir in the milk mixture and butter until the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the gooseberries. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the duff is a rich golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

      Gooseberry Fool

    The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
    page 306

    Fools most likely get their name from the French word foule, meaning “crushed or pressed.”  They are a scared combination of pureed fruit, whipped cream, and a pinch of sugar, and the easiest of all berry desserts to make.  Elizabeth David, in An Omelet and a Glass of Wine, says: “To me it is essential to serve fruit foods in glasses or in simple white cups, with shortbread or other such biscuits to go with them.” In this recipe, unlike gooseberry pie, you do not need to tip and tail the berries because after they are stewed, the mixture is pureed before being added to the whipped cream.

    Makes 4 servings

  • Ingredients:

    • 2 pounds fresh gooseberries, rinsed and drained, or frozen berries, thawed
    • ¼ cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
    • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • Directions:

    Combine the berries and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and slowly heat, stirring often, until the berries are soft. Drain off excess liquid, which would make the fool watery; then pass through a food mill. Refrigerate until cool.  Fold in the cream and add more sugar if necessary.

    Variation: For blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries, crush 1 pint of fruit and fold into the whipped cream with 2 or 3 tablespoons sugar.  Or combine 1 cup stewed rhubarb and 1 cup crushed strawberries with the whipped cream; add sugar to taste.

      Cannon Beach Blackberry Cobbler

    The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
    page 274

    Kathy Allcock, a friend of mine who is a great cook, says: “This old cobbler recipe came from my grandmother, who got it from an older woman across the street, and we always make it in the summer with blackberries we pick at Cannon Beach.”

    It’s an unusual recipe – all the ingredients are mixed together and put into a buttered baking pan, then a cup of hot water is poured over the top.  As the batter cooks, it absorbs the water while rising to the surface, producing a memorable moist and berry-laden cobbler that just begs for some good old-fashioned vanilla ice cream to go with it.

    Make 6 servings

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup sugar, plus ½ to 1 cup sugar, to taste, for the berries
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup milk
    • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh marionberries or other blackberries or frozen marionberries, thawed in a single layer on a paper towel for 20 minutes.
  • Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

    Stir together the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, butter and milk.  Toss the berries with the remaining sugar and stir into the batter.  Spoon the batter into the baking dish.  Pour 1 cup hot water over all and bake for 45 minutes (50 for frozen berries), until the batter rises to the surface around the edges of the pan and is light golden brown.  Serve warm.

      Red Currant Curd and Raspberry Tart

    The Berry Bible, By Janie Hibler, 2000, Harper Collins Publishers
    Page 264

    Ellen Mc Farland is the co-owner of Park Kitchen restaurant.  Prior to that she was the pastry chef at Higgins’ restaurant in Portland, Oregon. She pairs two of my favorite red berries – currants and raspberries – in this unusual tart. The red currant curd is also good as is, unbaked, topped with the fresh raspberries.

    Makes one 10-inch tart or eight 4-inch tarts

    Ingredients:

    Red Currant Curd

    • 1 pint (about 2 cups) fresh red currants, rinsed and drained, or frozen red currants, thawed in a single layer on a paper towel for 20 minutes
    • 1 ¼ cups sugar
    • Pinch of coarse salt
    • 8 large egg yolks
    • ¼  pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
    • Fresh lemon juice, to taste (optional)

    Pastry

    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • ¼ pound (1 stock) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ cup strained raspberry or red currant jelly, warm
    • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained

    Directions:

    To make the curd, cook the currants in ¼ cup water in a nonreactive saucepan over low heat until they are very soft, about 10 minutes. Press the solids through a fine strainer or strain using a food mill.  This should yield about 1 cup of puree. Let cool.

    Put the puree in the top of a double boiler and stir in the sugar, a pinch of salt, egg yolks, and butter. Cook the mixture over simmering water (do not let the water boil), stirring constantly until thickened (about 190 degrees F). Strain and correct the seasoning with a few drops of lemon juice and another pinch of salt if necessary. Let cool.

    Preheat the over to 425 degrees F. Spray an 11-inch tart pan with a removable rim with a flavorless oil if the surface isn’t well seasoned.

    Combine the flour and sugar in a food processor. With the motor running, gradually add the butter through the feed tube.  Process until thoroughly incorporated.

    Stir the egg yolk and vanilla together in a cup.  With the motor running, gradually add egg mixture through the feed tube.  Pulse the mixture until it begins to pull together. If the mixture seems too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and process until a dough forms. The dough should be crumbly but not dry.

    Turn the dough out directly into the prepared tart pan. Press it up along the sides and on the bottom of the pan in a relatively even layer; the dough will have a rough surface. (Note: While the crust can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to be baked, it tasted best when baked right away.)

    Prick the entire surface with the tines of a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Set the tart on a cookie sheet (it helps the bottom of the crust to brown) and bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.  Let cool.

    Lightly brush the cooled tart shell with about 3 tablespoons of the warm jelly.  This will preserve its crispness. Let cool. Fill the shell with the red currant curd and arrange the raspberries on top, fitting them close together. Brush the remaining jelly lightly and evenly over the berries.  The tart can be assembled up to 3 hours prior to serving and kept in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream is the nicest accompaniment.

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    Ben and Maureen Allnutt
    15604 Sugarland Road, Poolesville, Maryland 20837
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