Berry inspired recipes

I am a big fan of keeping recipes simple with the berries I grow. The fruits are delectable on their own. I try not to interfere with their natural flavors, just enhance them. For me the goal is to trap summer and preserve its freshness.

Summer Berry Crisp

This one is easy and delicious. Farm fresh juicy berries are fantastic nestled under the crisp. The preparation is easy and fairly quick- which I like after a long day…

Ingredients                       

  •  3 cups blueberries
  •  3 cups raspberries
  •  1/8 cup sugar
  •  1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  •  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  •   Splash of lemon juice
  •   Pinch of fresh lavender if you have it is fantastic

Crisp topping

  •   1 cup rolled oats
  •   1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  •   1/2 cup brown sugar
  •   1/4 cup sugar
  •    Pinch of salt
  •    ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and clove mixture
  •    1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Homemade fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (my favorite!) are great accompaniments

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Gently combine the berries with the sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice. Spoon into the prepared pie plate.
  2. For the topping: Combine the oats, flour, both sugars and salt in a bowl. Use 2 knives to work in the butter until topping resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over the berries.
  3. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. This takes about 1 hour. Remove the crisp to a rack to cool slightly. Serve with ice cream or  fresh whipped cream.

 

Balsamic Blueberries and Peaches

           Makes 4 servings

This might be my favorite combinations of fruit! It is great on its own as a refreshing desert but even better with vanilla ice cream.

  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 lb peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Boil 3 tablespoons sugar with vinegar, and 1-cup blueberries in a heavy saucepan (I like to crush them slightly or use frozen berries here). Stir them for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Combine remaining 2 cups blueberries with peach slices in a large bowl. Toss with hot blueberry syrup and black pepper, then add sugar to taste. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes.

 

Berry Plum Crisp

Makes 4-ish servings in under an hour

Another simple dessert. Use any combination of stone fruits and berries. I like adding nutmeg and/or cinnamon to the crisp and grated lemon rind to the fruit and berries. Excellent at night but even better for breakfast the next morning! Super easy!

For filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds purple plums (or plucots), cut into 1/2-inch wedges 
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
  • Grated lemon rind to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of lemon juice

For topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in upper third.
  2. Toss together all filling ingredients in a 2-quart shallow baking dish and bake 10 minutes.
  3. Blend together all topping ingredients in a bowl with your fingertips until butter is evenly distributed and mixture is crumbly.
  4. Stir fruit filling, then sprinkle oat mixture over it and bake until topping is crisp and golden and fruit is bubbling. This takes about 30 minutes but watch after 20. Yummy!

 

Blueberry Ginger Granita

This is a wonderful  hot summer night dessert. The ginger provides a great kick!

Makes about 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger (Biker Dude!)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups blueberries, (thawed if frozen)
  • 3/4 cup water- can use red wine instead
  • 3ish teaspoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  1. Finely grind ginger with sugar in a food processor. Add blueberries and purée until smooth. Force purée through a fine sieve into an 8- to 9-inch baking pan, pressing hard on solids (discard solids). Stir in water and lime juice.
  2. Freeze, stirring and crushing lumps with a fork every hour, until evenly frozen, about 4 hours total. Scrape with a fork to lighten texture, crushing any lumps.
  3. Serve immediately or freeze, covered, up to 3 days. You might need to re-scrape to lighten texture again.

 

Raspberry Mint Vinegar

Makes about 2 cups

This one is heavenly. The vinegar enlivens dressings and marinades. Keeps for several months. I find that it highlights the local spicy Arugula available in the summer months.

-1 1/2 cups packed fresh mint leaves plus sprigs for garnish. If you do not have a good mint in your backyard (like Robert Mitchums Peppermint) ask a friend for a division and put it in a corner of your garden. So versatile. I have mine growing between my patio stones. Every walk across it I am inspired to make something.

-3 cups raspberries- also a great addition to the corner of your yard

-2 cups rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

Put the mint leaves in a 1-quart glass jar and bruise them with a wooden spoon.

Add the raspberries and mash them with the spoon. Add the vinegar and let the mixture steep, covered with the lid, in a cool dark place for up to 2 weeks, depending on the strength desired. Strain the vinegar through a fine sieve into a glass pitcher, discarding the solids, and pour in to glass jars. Add the mint sprigs and seal the jars with the lids.

Great as gifts!

 

Raspberry Vinegar

Makes 1ish cup, recipe can be double or tripled for more

Use this simple and versatile, brightly flavored vinegar in dressings, sauces and even on desserts

            1 cup of ripe raspberries

           1 cup good-quality red wine vinegar

Fill a clean pint jar with raspberries, pressing down slightly to fit in jar snugly. Add enough vinegar to cover raspberries. Cover mixture and let macerate at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.

Set a strainer over a medium bowl; line with a double layer of cheesecloth or fine strainer. Pour vinegar mixture through strainer. Gather corners of cheesecloth and twist to release juices just until thicker juices begin to strain from cheesecloth. Compost the solids. Pour vinegar into a clean 8-ounce bottle or jar. Cover; chill up to 6 months. Enjoy!

 

Avocados with Strawberry Salsa and Crispy Tortilla Strips

Again, this one is divine and simple. Makes about 4 Servings and is ready in less than 45 minutes

           1 fresh Serrano or jalapeño chili

           1 cup finely chopped fresh and local strawberries (from Adam’s Berry Farm of course)

           2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

           1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

           1/4 teaspoon salt

           1/2 teaspoon sugar if desired

My favorite is to spoon this over ripe avocados- either halves or cubed. Also can be eaten with corn tortillas or chips

Remove stems, seeds, and ribs from chili and chop fine.

In a bowl stir together chili and remaining salsa ingredients. Salsa may be made several hours ahead and chilled, covered. Yum!

 

Strawberry Vinegar

Makes about 2 cups

I make this vinegar with uncooked berries so it retains that fresh-from-the-patch essence not the cooked jammy taste.

           1 pound strawberries

           2 tablespoons sugar if berries are not sweet

           2 cups white balsamic vinegar

Pulse berries with sugar (if using) in a food processor until finely chopped and very juicy. Transfer to a bowl and add vinegar. Let stand 1-2 hours. Strain vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.

Enjoy on salads, marinades and yes, on vanilla ice cream

 

Balsamic-Strawberry Pops

Makes 6 to 8 pops depending on mold size

A little balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of black pepper bring out the sweetness of ripe strawberries.

            3 cups sliced, hulled strawberries

           1/4 cup sugar

           2 1/2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar

           Splash of lime juice

           Freshly ground black pepper

           Mini pinch of salt

Place the strawberries and sugar in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture is finely chopped and juicy but still garden chunk. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper, lime juice and salt.

Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds and insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours or up to 1 week.

To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.

Berry inspired recipes .I am a big fan of keeping recipes simple with the berries I grow. The fruits are delectable on their own. I try not to interfere with their natural flavors, just enhance them. For me the goal is to trap summer and preserve its freshness.

Summer Berry Crisp

This one is easy and delicious. Farm fresh juicy berries are fantastic nestled under the crisp. The preparation is easy and fairly quick- which I like after a long day…

Ingredients                       

           3 cups blueberries

           3 cups raspberries

           1/8 cup sugar

           1/4 cup all-purpose flour

           1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

           Splash of lemon juice

           Pinch of fresh lavender if you have it is fantastic

Crisp topping

           1 cup rolled oats

           1/2 cup all-purpose flour

           1/2 cup brown sugar

           1/4 cup sugar

           Pinch of salt

           ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and clove mixture

           1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Homemade fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (my favorite!) are great accompaniments

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Gently combine the berries with the sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice. Spoon into the prepared pie plate.

-For the topping: Combine the oats, flour, both sugars and salt in a bowl. Use 2 knives to work in the butter until topping resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over the berries.

- Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. This takes about 1 hour. Remove the crisp to a rack to cool slightly. Serve with ice cream or  fresh whipped cream.

 

Balsamic Blueberries and Peaches

           Makes 4 servings

This might be my favorite combinations of fruit! It is great on its own as a refreshing desert but even better with vanilla ice cream.

           3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

           2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

           3 cups fresh blueberries

           1 lb peaches, sliced

           1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil 3 tablespoons sugar with vinegar, and 1-cup blueberries in a heavy saucepan (I like to crush them slightly or use frozen berries here). Stir them for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Combine remaining 2 cups blueberries with peach slices in a large bowl. Toss with hot blueberry syrup and black pepper, then add sugar to taste. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes.

 

Berry Plum Crisp

Makes 4-ish servings in under an hour

Another simple dessert. Use any combination of stone fruits and berries. I like adding nutmeg and/or cinnamon to the crisp and grated lemon rind to the fruit and berries. Excellent at night but even better for breakfast the next morning! Super easy!

For filling

          1 1/2 pounds purple plums (or plucots), cut into 1/2-inch wedges

           1 cup blueberries

           1 cup raspberries

           1/3 to 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)

           Grated lemon rind to taste

           Pinch of salt

           Splash of lemon juice

For topping

           1 cup rolled oats

           1/4 cup all-purpose flour

           1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

           1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened

           1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in upper third.

Toss together all filling ingredients in a 2-quart shallow baking dish and bake 10 minutes.

Blend together all topping ingredients in a bowl with your fingertips until butter is evenly distributed and mixture is crumbly.

Stir fruit filling, then sprinkle oat mixture over it and bake until topping is crisp and golden and fruit is bubbling. This takes about 30 minutes but watch after 20. Yummy!

 

Blueberry Ginger Granita

This is a wonderful  hot summer night dessert. The ginger provides a great kick!

Makes about 4 servings

            2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger (Biker Dude!)

           1/2 cup granulated sugar

           3 cups blueberries, (thawed if frozen)

           3/4 cup water- can use red wine instead

           3ish teaspoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Finely grind ginger with sugar in a food processor. Add blueberries and purée until smooth. Force purée through a fine sieve into an 8- to 9-inch baking pan, pressing hard on solids (discard solids). Stir in water and lime juice.

Freeze, stirring and crushing lumps with a fork every hour, until evenly frozen, about 4 hours total. Scrape with a fork to lighten texture, crushing any lumps.

Serve immediately or freeze, covered, up to 3 days. You might need to re-scrape to lighten texture again.

 

Raspberry Mint Vinegar

Makes about 2 cups

This one is heavenly. The vinegar enlivens dressings and marinades. Keeps for several months. I find that it highlights the local spicy Arugula available in the summer months.

-1 1/2 cups packed fresh mint leaves plus sprigs for garnish. If you do not have a good mint in your backyard (like Robert Mitchums Peppermint) ask a friend for a division and put it in a corner of your garden. So versatile. I have mine growing between my patio stones. Every walk across it I am inspired to make something.

-3 cups raspberries- also a great addition to the corner of your yard

-2 cups rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

Put the mint leaves in a 1-quart glass jar and bruise them with a wooden spoon.

Add the raspberries and mash them with the spoon. Add the vinegar and let the mixture steep, covered with the lid, in a cool dark place for up to 2 weeks, depending on the strength desired. Strain the vinegar through a fine sieve into a glass pitcher, discarding the solids, and pour in to glass jars. Add the mint sprigs and seal the jars with the lids.

Great as gifts!

 

Raspberry Vinegar

Makes 1ish cup, recipe can be double or tripled for more

Use this simple and versatile, brightly flavored vinegar in dressings, sauces and even on desserts

            1 cup of ripe raspberries

           1 cup good-quality red wine vinegar

Fill a clean pint jar with raspberries, pressing down slightly to fit in jar snugly. Add enough vinegar to cover raspberries. Cover mixture and let macerate at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.

Set a strainer over a medium bowl; line with a double layer of cheesecloth or fine strainer. Pour vinegar mixture through strainer. Gather corners of cheesecloth and twist to release juices just until thicker juices begin to strain from cheesecloth. Compost the solids. Pour vinegar into a clean 8-ounce bottle or jar. Cover; chill up to 6 months. Enjoy!

 

Avocados with Strawberry Salsa and Crispy Tortilla Strips

Again, this one is divine and simple. Makes about 4 Servings and is ready in less than 45 minutes

           1 fresh Serrano or jalapeño chili

           1 cup finely chopped fresh and local strawberries (from Adam’s Berry Farm of course)

           2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

           1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

           1/4 teaspoon salt

           1/2 teaspoon sugar if desired

My favorite is to spoon this over ripe avocados- either halves or cubed. Also can be eaten with corn tortillas or chips

Remove stems, seeds, and ribs from chili and chop fine.

In a bowl stir together chili and remaining salsa ingredients. Salsa may be made several hours ahead and chilled, covered. Yum!

 

Strawberry Vinegar

Makes about 2 cups

I make this vinegar with uncooked berries so it retains that fresh-from-the-patch essence not the cooked jammy taste.

           1 pound strawberries

           2 tablespoons sugar if berries are not sweet

           2 cups white balsamic vinegar

Pulse berries with sugar (if using) in a food processor until finely chopped and very juicy. Transfer to a bowl and add vinegar. Let stand 1-2 hours. Strain vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.

Enjoy on salads, marinades and yes, on vanilla ice cream

 

Balsamic-Strawberry Pops

Makes 6 to 8 pops depending on mold size

A little balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of black pepper bring out the sweetness of ripe strawberries.

            3 cups sliced, hulled strawberries

           1/4 cup sugar

           2 1/2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar

           Splash of lime juice

           Freshly ground black pepper

           Mini pinch of salt

Place the strawberries and sugar in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture is finely chopped and juicy but still garden chunk. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper, lime juice and salt.

Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds and insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours or up to 1 week.

To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.