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Blackberry Delicacies

I am loving living in Corvallis, beautiful weather and somehow, despite the heat, we always enjoy a breeze.

It’s been disheartening to see all the fires around the states, including Oregon but especially California. Mother Earth is cleansing; however, much destruction on the path. I have been concerned and keeping alert about my daughter as she has been surrounded by fires and the air quality has been affected. I am certainly hoping by the time you read this, all fires will be contained.

Where I am is quiet and I am grateful for that so I am making the most of the bounty surrounding me! On my walk, I have found an apple tree with ample apples so I am keeping an eye when they will be ripe. Apple jelly is pretty good too... I still have yet to visit the blueberry farm located right across from the development I am living. Taking another road recently, I discovered 2 more blueberry farms about 10 minutes away and a farmer’s market so that will be my next adventures.

In the meantime, let me share my bounty with recipes. Keep in mind that these were my 1st attempts but they turned out better than expected! I must admit that Mother Nature did most of the work by creating the sweetest blackberries I have had in a long time.

Sorbet

I didn’t like some of the recipes I have found online as they did not cook the fruits. Being wild, it is safer to cook the berries as it is a delicacy for many animals as well. As a general rule, when picking, I tend to pick the upper ones rather than the ones closer to the ground, less chance of access of too much contamination!

The day before, I placed the ice cream maker container in the freezer and let it stayed overnight so it is hard solid for the following morning.

- 4 lbs of Berries (rinsed several times and inspected thoroughly) - 1/2 cup (100 grams) of Organic sugar – I barely added sugar since the fruit is already sweet - Zest of 1 orange and its juice

(I just found out that adding 1 egg white to the mixture 2 minutes before the end of the churning will emulsify the sorbet)

Place all ingredients in a pan to medium heat. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and continue to stir here and there. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.

I used my Vitamix blender to blend so the puree is smooth, then I used a strainer and used a wooden spoon to get most of the liquid out and discard all the seeds. The seeds are not necessarily good for us and I find it a more pleasant texture when it’s smooth.

I then let cool.

I retrieved my ice cream bowl from the freezer, then poured ½ of the mixture into the ice cream maker, turned it on and I let it do its thing for 30 minutes. Check on it to see its consistency. You may need to prolong until desired result. Transfer to an ice cream container then proceed for the other ½.

Enjoy!

Seedless Blackberry Jam

4 lbs blackberries 1.75 lbs of organic cane sugar (I used organic raw cane sugar)

1 juice of a lemon 5 grams of agar-agar (.18 oz)

In a large saucepan, (I don’t have a pressure cooker), add the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice and let those cook for 30 minutes while stirring and crushing the fruits under medium heat.

I used my Vitamix blender to create a puree so I would retain most of the mixture for the jam. I blended it well, then I strained it to remove all the seeds using a wooden spatula to press the seeds as to extract the precious liquid.

I placed the liquid back in a different saucepan (you can wash the original one if you only have one) and I added the agar-agar, letting it cook for another 15 minutes while stirring constantly.

I then poured the mixture in my sterilized jars and I let them cool down a bit before closing off the lids to the jars to avoid moisture.

I am keeping them in the fridge because I have room but you should be able to store them in your cupboard if you have sterilized your jars well.

The next day, was the moment of truth! I enjoyed my breakfast, the jam spread nicely. I prepared a little gift jar for one of my neighbors and dropped it off early in the morning so they could enjoy it for breakfast... the feedback was "My goodness- so amazing!"

I surely hope you enjoy making it and savoring it, I know I am!

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Corvallis, OR USA

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