Tag Archives: berry

Blackberry Ice Cream

We’ve been getting blackberries in our Greenling box for a few weeks now, and while they’re perfect just out of the box (literally, when it’s still in the green box), I’ve been trying to think of new ways to use them in recipes.

Since it’s been ice cream season (i.e., 90+ degree weather) here in South Texas for a while now, I thought I might use our blackberries to make my first custard-based ice cream. I’ve previously shied away from custard-based ice creams for a few reasons, namely because they’re so high in fat and because I thought they were tricky to make. Turns out that I was right on only the first count.

I halved the recipe to accommodate 1 pint of blackberries. If you have 2 pints, use the original recipe. What’s weird is that both recipes yield about 1 liter (I stored mine in one of those tall plastic containers that wonton soup comes in, so I’m sure about this). No idea how that happened.

I highly encourage you to check out the original recipe for this one; the pictures on Jen’s site are incredible.

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, via Use Real Butter

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. half-and-half
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. strained blackberry puree (You can use 1 pint of whole blackberries. I highly recommend using a food mill for this, as blackberries have large seeds. It’s much easier than pureeing in a food processor or blender and then removing the seeds with a strainer.)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • Heat half-and-half and sugar over medium heat in a small saucepan.
  • While it’s warming, pour the cream into a bowl and place a strainer over the top. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Set both bowls aside.
  • When the sugar has completely dissolved into the half-and-half and the mixture is warmed through, slowly add the warmed half-and-half to the eggs, whisking constantly.
  • Pour the egg/half-and-half mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  • Pour the egg/half-and-half mixture (now resembling a custard) through the strainer into the cream. Add the blackberry puree and the lemon juice.
  • Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours. (The mixture needs to be completely chilled before putting it in the ice cream maker to avoid overchurning, which leads to increased ice crystals and thus a less smooth texture [a tip from Alton Brown]. But the mixture should be used in 4 hours to preserve the fresh berry taste [a tip from David Lebovitz].)
  • Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After it’s finished churning, put the ice cream in a tupperware and cover it with saran wrap before sealing the container (a tip from Alton Brown). Freeze for 2 hours before eating.

Verdict:
This was my first attempt at custard-based ice cream, as I had (incorrectly) thought that it required a ton of work. It doesn’t! This ice cream has a beautiful pinkish-purple color and a wonderfully rich and decadent flavor without being overly heavy. This would be perfect with the blackberry-peach crisp I made a few weeks ago, and would be so easy to make a few days ahead of time for company.

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Local Box Meal Plan for June 2-6

Just got word of this week’s Local Box contents! We’ve got green tomatoes (Ringger Farm), sweet corn (Acadian), italian cucumber (Buena Tierra), green beans (Animal Farm), patty pan squash (Naegelin), carrots (Tecolote), mangoes (G&S Groves), peaches (Caskey), beets (Tecolote), and blackberries (Naegelin). So this week, I’m making:

Snacks (sometimes it’s best just to eat these as is!):

  • Mangoes
  • Peaches

Lunch:

  • Carrot-ginger soup (I’m one of those people who’s freezing no matter how hot it is outside.)

Sides:

Dinner:

Dessert:

As a Yank, I’m pretty excited about the green tomatoes! How do you make green tomatoes? Got any family recipes to share?

Sweet Crepes with Whipped Cream and Blackberry Confit

My husband has made me crepes for breakfast before, but he basically used thinned-out pancake batter to do so. It was good, but I wanted to try my hand at a DIY crepe recipe, too.

This restaurant we used to go to when we were in college made phenomenal crepe-like pancakes filled with whipped cream, sour cream, and strawberries. They were so good, but so heavy! This is my attempt at recreating them in my cooking style.

Crepe recipe from Alton Brown

Ingredients:
For the crepes:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. liqueur (Because I was using blackberries, I added creme de cassis. I’d try to pair it with whatever filling you’re using.)
  • Pam spray

For the blackberry confit:

  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients for the crepes except for the Pam spray in a blender. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours before making the crepes.
  • When you’re ready to make the crepes, put all of the ingredients for the blackberry confit in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for ~15 minutes, mashing the larger berries, until it’s broken down and the liquid is syrupy. Pour the mixture through a food mill before serving to remove the large seeds and set aside.
  • Put the bowl of a stand mixer and its whisk attachment in the freezer for ~10 minutes. After 10 minutes have elapsed, combine all of the ingredients for the whipped cream in the mixer bowl. Whisk for ~3 minutes until the cream stiffens. Set aside.
  • Spray a non-stick skillet over high heat with Pam. When the skillet is hot, pour ~3 oz. in the skillet (depending on how large your skillet is) and swirl the batter around. In ~1 minute, when the edges start to cook, check the bottom and see if it’s easy to pull off of the pan. If it is, flip the crepe and cook for 30 seconds more; if not, let cook for an additional 30 seconds and check again.
  • When the crepes are finished, spread with whipped cream and blackberry confit and fold in thirds.

Verdict:
The crepes were light and not greasy at all, which was a severe departure from Pamelas’ crepes! But the filling was definitely remiscent of them: the whipped cream was rich and sweet, and the blackberries were tangy and syrupy. I was worried that the liqueur in the crepe batter would be a bit much, but it was quite subtle and a nice compliment to the berries in the filling. A wonderful way to start the day!

Local Box Meal Plan for May 25-29

I’m late! I’m sorry. Having holidays on Mondays totally mess up my internal clock, leaving me to think that Tuesdays are really Mondays and so on. I realized this afternoon that today was actually Wednesday and I needed to get my Greenling meal plan going!

In this week’s box: blackberries (Naegelin Farm), cucumber (Buena Tierra), carrots (Tecolote), green beans (Acadian), summer squash (Naegelin), elephant garlic (Montesino), leeks (Acadian), mangoes (G&S Groves), peaches (Caskey), and garlic chives (Tecolote).

So for the next few days, we’re having:

Weekend brunch:

Condiments:

Dinner:

Side dish:

What are you making this week?

Blackberry-Peach Crisp

You know those nights where company is coming over without much advance notice? That’s what this recipe is perfect for. It’s made of things that are always in my pantry and can be adapted to whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have in the house. I used the peaches and blackberries that came in our Local Box this week.

I originally made this dessert for just 2 people in 6 oz. ramekins. For company last night, I tripled the recipe and baked it in a pie dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. fruit
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 c. oats
  • 3 tsp. flour
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the fruit into small chunks (~1/2″) and spread it in the bottom of a pie dish.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, then spread it on top of the fruit.
  • Bake for ~40 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Verdict:
The peaches were so sweet and the blackberries were a bit tart, so it was really a perfect combination of fruit for this crisp. The soft, fresh fruit is also a nice contrast to the crunchy, rich crumble topping. Such a quick, comfort food-like dessert. I’d highly recommend eating this with vanilla ice cream!

Local Box Meal Plan for May 18-22

Hi all! Woman With a Whisk here. I’ve been a huge supporter of Greenling and their Local Boxes for a few months now, and I’ve been blogging how I’ve cooked out of my Local Boxes since then. Hopefully, I can share some interesting ways to use the produce that comes to us each week, and I expect to learn new things from you also!

Each week, I’ve been making a meal plan to figure out how best to use the Local Box contents. I find that without planning, it’s hard to use some of the more esoteric items before they spoil. Besides, I get a huge kick trying to use as many local ingredients/Local Box produce as possible in one meal. Don’t we all?

So without further ado, this week’s meal plan. In the current Local Box: blackberries, golden zucchini, green beans, dandelion greens, carrots, red spring onion, mangoes, beets, and red potatoes. Where I’m using recipes, I’ll link to them. Otherwise, the recipes are either in my head (waiting to be blogged!) or are common enough that you may have your own.

This week, I’m planning on making:

Breakfast:

  • Blackberry pancakes (though this verrine would make a wonderful dessert for a special occasion or dinner party)

Sides:

  • Zucchini cakes
  • Sauteed green beans tossed with soy sauce and sesame oil
  • Roasted red potatoes with rosemary

Lunches:

  • Dandelion greens salad with roasted beets, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette (I’ll roast the beets and potatoes in the same pan the night before, then peel and cut up the beets when they’re cool for lunch the following day)

Dinners:

  • Slow-cooker goat stew (made just like a basic beef stew) with carrots and red onions
  • Ginger chicken stir-fry with mango chutney and red onion tops

If my husband would go anywhere near it (he hates mussels), I would make mussels with dandelion greens and linguini for dinner. Mmmmm. This recipe uses beer instead of white wine, which is an interesting twist on the usual.

Edited on 5/19: The Local Box video for this week is on Facebook here (you don’t need to be a Facebook member to check it out!). Turns out that we’re not getting red potatoes, but we are getting broccoli and swiss chard or red leaf lettuce. I’ll still roast the broccoli with the beets, and maybe wilt the swiss chard or use the lettuce to make lettuce wraps (since I’d also like to make dumplings this week!). Have fun!

Local Box Lookout, week of 04.20.2009

Here’s what to expect in this week’s Local Box:

  • Swiss chard
  • cabbage
  • herbs
  • mushrooms
  • spring onion
  • garlic scapes
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • turnips
  • berries