Hello Fran, and Hello everyone!
Hope you had an amazing summer, the chance to enjoy some great sunshine and more importantly been surrounded by great company!!
Over the month of August, I have had the chance to do a bit of traveling, to Edinburgh & Spain, enjoying lovely company of friends, and most importantly heading out of the house as frequently as the weather has permitted.
On of the really nice outings which I have done again this summer, was go berry picking!! Very few things are as delightful and delicious as a freshly picked blackberry, that has been bathing in the sunlight, and with the first bite bursts with sweetly sour juice! YUMMMMM… However, after getting carried away eating half the pickings prior to them entering the pail, the biggest question comes: “What do I make with all these berries? What do I possibly make that can do them justice?” I hope you will join me in delighting in the wonders of blackberries with a refreshing Mojito, a sweet and tangy salad, and a pie filled with berry goodness.
Luscious Berry Mojito
Makes 1 drink
- 1 shot white rum
- 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 mint leaves
- 1 lime
- 9 blackberries (or a mix with raspberries)
- Soda water
- Wash all ingredients thoroughly, scrubbing lime peel especially well.
- Cut lime into wedges and place in a sturdy serving glass, together with the sugar. With a long pestle(or the back of a rolling pin) start to muddle, until most of the lime’s juice has been pressed out (in other words, “do the mojito!”)
- Add mint leaves and berries, muddle a little longer, until the mint leaves have been properly bruised and have burst the juice out of the berries.
- Add a few ice cubes, add the rum, and top up with soda. With a stirrer, stir the mojito to distribute the rum evenly throughout your cocktail. Add a straw and enjoy!
Refreshing Salad with Avocado and Blackberries
- 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
- 1 tomato, cut in wedges
- 10 cm piece of cucumber, thinly sliced
- 3 spring onions, cut in thin long match sticks
- 1 avocado
- 15 blackberries, cut in half
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp raspberry balsamic vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- Distribute the lettuce, cucumber, tomato, spring onions into 2 plates(I prefer open bowls for salad).
- Halve the avocado, remove the pit and cut into thick slices. Sprinkle lime juice over avocado slices and distribute over salads.
- Sprinkle the blackberries over the avocado slices and drizzle dressing over each plate. Enjoy!! (would also be really good with chicken)
Very Berry Pie
Makes a 12 inch pie
- 5-6 cups blackberries, rinsed, picked clean, patted dry (if you use frozen berries, defrost and drain them)
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are)
- 1 lemon’s juice
- 2 cup flour
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Halve your berries, then place them in a bowl with 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice and let it macerate while you prepare the crust.
- Mix the flour, butter and powdered sugar together, until you form a soft ball of dough. Divide into 2, shape into disks and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C
- Remove one of the disks from the refrigerator, and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to avoid dough sticking to the counter and rolling pin. Roll our until dough is 1/4 inch thick (1/2 cm). Transfer the rolled out dough with the bottom sheet of baking paper into the pie tin, pressing the dough into the tin to mold it tightly. Overlay a baking sheet with pie weights over the crust and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
- While crust is baking, in a small bowl mix cornstarch with the juice released by the berries, until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour over the berries and gently mix to coat all berries evenly.
- Remove second disk from the refrigerator and roll out until 1/4 inch thick(1/2cm), then with a cookie cutter, cut out shapes until you have used up with rest of the dough.
- Remove pie crust from the oven, remove pie weights and baking paper. Pour the berry mixture into the cooked pie crust spreading filling evenly into the pie crust. Then, add cut out dough shapes on top of the berry filling, laying each shape slightly on top of each other in circle formations. Start from the outermost edge, and move towards the center with each completed circle overlaying small parts of dough to the previous row; this formation will allow for the top to bake into uniform crust, allowing for excess liquids to evaporate.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the dough on top is nicely browned. Let pie cool for 20 minutes and enjoy with vanilla ice cream or a tiny drizzle of cream!!