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Blog

Filtering by Category: desserts

Blackberry Fools

Patricia Reitz

 Blackberry Fool - ButterYum -- 

Blackberry Fool - ButterYum -- 

I found the most amazing blackberries at the market the other day - they were super sweet and delicious and I couldn't wait to use them to make Blackberry Fool, an incredibly simple, yet elegant dessert. 

In case you're wondering, fruit fool recipes first started appearing in the year 1598 - the word fool is thought to be derived from the french word "fouler" which means to press or mash.

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When choosing blackberries, pick ones that are completely black, and taste them to make sure they're sweet because they won't ripen after being picked. 

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To make blackberry puree, place ripe blackberries and lemon zest in a personal blender or small food processor.

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Blitz the berries until completely pulverized.  

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Then pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  A silicone scraper is pretty helpful here.

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Blackberries contain a LOT of seeds so you definitely want to remove them (discard them or feed them to the chickens). 

Mmmm.... smooth, seedless blackberry puree.

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To make blackberry fool, fold together one part blackberry puree and 4 parts sweetened whipped cream (recipe below).

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You can leave the mixture a little streaky if you like - I think the streaks look kind of cool.

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Or if you're a bit compulsive and you can't help but continue to fold the two components together until they're completely mixed, go for it.  You do you.

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Spoon or pipe the mixture into dessert cups.  The dessert cups I chose (these) have very small openings so I filled them using a pastry bag to keep the cups neat and clean.  

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To complete the presentation, pipe some leftover whipped cream on top using a large closed star tip (like this one) and garnished with a mint leaf.  Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Blackberry Fool

Makes 6-8 mini desserts (3-ounce)

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 ounce ripe blackberries (or other berries)
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Make berry puree by blitzing berries with lemon zest in a personal blender or small food processor; strain seeds and discard.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whip heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla using a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.
  3. In another small mixing bowl, fold together 6 tablespoons strained blackberry puree and 1 1/2 cups of sweetened whipped cream until combined (a few streaks remaining look lovely).
  4. To neatly fill dessert cups, transfer berry and cream mixture to a piping bag and carefully fill six 3-ounce mini dessert cups (eight dessert cups if you don't fill them as full).
  5. Place remaining whipped cream in another piping bag filled with a closed star tip and top each dessert.  
  6. Garnish with a mint leaf and/or a drizzle of the remaining blackberry puree.

Note:  the blackberries can be substituted with other seasonal berries.

Sour Cherry Pie

Patricia Reitz

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Sour cherries may not be good eating out hand, but they make the BEST cherry pies!  But they're season is very short, only appearing at the market for a week or two each spring, so I pit and flash freeze them (here's how) so I can enjoy that fresh springtime flavor any time of year. 

And hey, if you have a batch of super flaky all-butter crust in the freezer too, you could whip a pie up in no time.  Seriously, can you imagine how happy you'd be to enjoy gorgeous pie to you on a cold winter day?  Your birthday?  Valentine's day?  Today?  

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This pie is a cinch to make.  Just line a pie plate with a bottom crust.....

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Stir together the pie filling and pour it in, top with a lattice crust, and bake. Use a cherry crust cutter to decorate your pie, if you like.  I like! 

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Make someone's day.  Make pie! 

Items used to make this recipe:


Sour Cherry Pie

makes one pie

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • double crust recipe (here)
  • 2 pounds sour cherries, stemmed and pitted (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • optional egg wash and turbinado sugar for the crust

Directions

  1. Roll bottom crust and place in glass or ceramic pie plate.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cherries, tapioca, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt; pour into prepared pie plate.
  3. Roll top crust and cut into 1/2-inch thick strips, place on pie filling, weaving to form a lattice crust (as shown); trim excess crust from pie plate.
  4. Place pie plate on half sheet pan and brush top crust with beaten egg wash (whole egg and 1 tablespoon of water) or cream; sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake pie for 60-75 minutes, or until the filling bubbles; cover edges of pie with foil if it starts to get too brown.

Blueberry Crostata for Two

Patricia Reitz

 Blueberry Crostata for Two - ButterYum -- 

Blueberry Crostata for Two - ButterYum -- 

Sometimes I'm in the mood for pie, but there aren't enough family members around to consume said pie, and rather than have an entire pie calling my name at all hours of the night, I opt to make a tiny, rustic, free-form pie known as a crostata (if you want to be Italian) or a galette (if you want to be French).

Start by rolling out your favorite pie crust recipe.  A single pie crust recipe is enough to make two of these crostatas. 

Check out my Super Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust tutorial HERE if you like to make your pie crust if you want to make the flakiest pie crust ever and you don't mind getting your hands dirty.

Check out my All-Butter Pie Crust tutorial HERE if you prefer the ease and speed of making your pie crust using a food processor.

For the recipe we're making today, you'll need a 10-inch circle of pie dough.  You can keep it rustic if you like, or you can cut it into a perfect circle if that's how you roll.

Place the 10-inch circle of dough on a quarter sheet pan that is lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.  Despite the photo above, and the fact that I think silicone baking mats produce the best results 99% of the time, I actually prefer parchment paper for this recipe.  Using parchment allows the bottom crust to bake up a bit more crispy.

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Back to the recipe - you'll need blueberries, fresh or frozen.

And some lemon zest.  

Here's a tip - next time you squeeze fresh lemon juice, pop the used lemon halves into the freezer.  You'll always have lemon zest on hand.

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Just grab one of your frozen lemon shells and grate it using a microplane grater.

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Lemons and blueberries are best friends.

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Add sugar, finely ground tapioca starch, and just a pinch of fine salt. 

Note:  If you only have pearl tapioca starch in your pantry, you can pulse it in a spice grinder.

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Stir the blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, tapioca, and salt together well.

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Place the berry mixture in the center of the pie crust.

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Dot the filling with butter and fold up the edges of the crust as shown.  Pop the whole thing in the fridge and chill well for 2 hours before baking.  

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Just before baking, brush the crostata with milk, cream, beaten egg, egg white, or any combination thereof.

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This step is optional, but I like to follow the egg wash with a sprinkling of either sanding sugar or turbinado sugar.  

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See how pretty?  I can't wait!!

Items needed to make this recipe:


Blueberry Crostata for Two

makes one 6-inch crostata (2 servings)

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • single pie crust (recipe and how-to photos here)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, finely ground
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on how sweet the berries are)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter, cut into small bits
  • optional: beaten egg, milk, or cream to brush over crostata 
  • optional: turbinado or sanding sugar to sprinkle over crostata 

Directions

  1. Roll enough pie crust to make a 9-inch round; place on a silpat-lined quarter sheet pan and chill until needed (wrap remaining crust well and freeze for use later).
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, tapioca, and lemon zest; stir well to combine.
  3. Place the berry mixture in the center of the crust; spreading it in an even layer that measures 6 inches wide.
  4. Pull the remaining crust over the top of the blueberries, overlapping as shown in the photos; chill for 1 to 2 hours before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  6. Just before baking, dot the berries with the butter, brush the crust with beaten egg, milk, or cream, and sprinkle with turbinado or sanding sugar.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbly.
  8. Remove crostata from oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.