Tag Archives: blackberries

mixed berry crumb bars

we had a bit of a berry overload situation going on in the refrigerator, and i decided to deal with the matter by baking them into the blueberry crumb bar recipe i found over at smitten kitchen.

i pretty much followed the recipe to a tee, with two exceptions:

– i made the crust in a food processor rather than chunking it up by hand
– i used about 5 cups of mixed berries (consisting of cherries, blueberries & blackberries) but kept the sugar and lemon juice ratio the same.  hubs thought it was still a bit too sweet, so you might want to cut the sugar down further a tad!

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citrus berry terrine a la dorie

when i got my copy of dorie greenspan’s around my french table a few months ago, the picture of a sparkling, brightly colored fruit terrine really caught my eye.  i made a mental note to re-create it for thanksgiving (yes, i’m a bit behind on my posts).  i took the photo of the terrine i made following dorie’s recipe moments before my guests dove into it.  i do wish that i had more time in natural daylight to have taken a proper photo.  oh well, you get the drift.  the terrine drew a lot of oooos and ahhhhhs from my guests when i took it out from the fridge.   it’s also one of those desserts that can be made a few days in advance.

with the exception of the extra sugar added, did i mention that this dessert is chock full of vitamin C and antioxidants?

Citrus Berry Terrine
(makes one 9×5 inch terrine; adapted from dorie greenspan’s around my french table)

Citrus Fruit Segments from 2 navel oranges and 1 grapefruit, cut into bite-sized pieces.  Or, if you haven’t got the patience to segment your citrus fruit, you can use a 16oz can of mandarin oranges.
Cold Water 1/3 cup + 1/3 cup
Unflavored Gelatin 2 of those powdered packets
Fresh Squeezed Orange juice 1  2/3 cups
Sugar 1/3 cup
Mixed berries 3 cups (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.)
  1. Line a 9×5 inch baking pan with plastic and set aside.   Bits of the plastic should hang over the side.  The plastic makes it much easier to unmold, as you don’t have to fuss with submerging the finished terrine into hot water or blasting the sides a bit with a blow torch to ease things along.
  2. Prepare the fruits and set aside.
  3. Allow gelatin to soften in 1/3 cup water. Use a medium sized bowl, enough to hold about 3 cups of liquid.
  4. Boil the other 1/3 cup water with 1/3 cup sugar.  You’ve just made a bit of simple syrup!  Then pour the simple syrup into the gelatin mixture to dissolve the gelatin.
  5. Next, pour the orange juice into the sugar-gelatin mixture.  Leave this in the fridge for about 2 hours.  You want the solution to be thickened but not set.  [NB: Dorie’s original recipe boils the sugar directly with the orange juice.   For some reason, i don’t like the taste of boiled fresh squeezed orange juice much.  if you’re not using fresh squeezed oj, boil away!]
  6. Drop the fruit into the thickened gelatin mixture.  Stir gently, and then pour everything into that baking pan you had lined with plastic.
  7. Leave it in the fridge to set overnight.
  8. Unmold onto a rectangular plate if you’ve got one, wiggle the plastic a bit, and wah lah!
  9. NB: usage of the plastic sometimes leaves wrinkly marks on the outside of the terrine.  I don’t mind them. I think it gives it character.  However, if you’re a perfectionist, you can do one of two things: trim off the sides with a hot knife or use an unlined pyrex dish.  for the latter, you would need to unmold by dipping the dish into hot water or blasting the sides with a blow torch.

 

 

english breakfast tea yogurt cake with berries

i wish you could smell this! of the four yogurt cakes that i made, the english breakfast tea yogurt cake with berries is by far my favorite. i found the scent so intoxicating; it smelled not surprisingly like tea — not brewed tea but dried tea leaves prior to brewing, like that first whiff you get when pop open a cannister of high quality loose leaf teas.  combined with the baked raspberries and blackberries releasing their fragrances and the fresh out of the oven smell of baked goods in general, i was somewhere between being in scent heaven and being a deranged being who sniffed at cake every few minutes.

but enough waxing on cake aromas…here’s the recipe for my little english breakfast tea yogurt cake experiment:

English Breakfast Tea Yogurt Cake with Berries
(one 3 inch x 9 inch loaf cake)

Dry Ingredients
Flour 270 g (2 cups)
Sugar 180 g (slightly less than 1 cup)
English Breakfast Tea Powder 2 tbsp  (take 2 tbsp of english breakfast tea and grind it into a fine powder in a coffee grinder or food processor)
Baking powder 1 ½ tsp
Baking soda ½ tsp
Fresh or Frozen Berries 1 cup [I used a mix of raspberries and blackberries]
Wet Ingredients
Eggs 2 large ones
Yogurt 250 ml (1 cup)
Canola Oil 80 ml (1/3 cup)
Rum 1 tsp
  1. Butter and flour a loaf pan.  Set aside.  Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place all dry ingredients EXCEPT berries in a bowl and whisk together until evenly combined.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. With the mixer set at the lowest speed (you can mix by hand as well), slowly pour in all the wet ingredients.  Beat together until just combined. Do not overmix or else the cake will become chewy.
  5. Place berries in a bowl and sprinkle with a bit of flour.  This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom.  Then, add the berries to the batter and gently fold in with a rubber spatula.
  6. Pour into cake pan and bake at 350º F for about 45 minutes – 65 minutes or until a toothpick insert into the cake comes out clean. [Note: if you’re using frozen berries, the bake time will be closer to 65 minutes. the bake time for using fresh berries is a bit shorter.]
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes before taking the cake out of the pan.