Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Thanks for the memories! May 2010-March 2020

Get the local dirt in our northwest corner • Regrowing in 2023!

Berry baking: Time to indulge

Jul 1st, 2015 | Category: Cooking, Features

by Carol Frey

Sometimes it’s good to indulge. Our spectacular summers supply a parade of berry feasts, but when their short seasons are over, there’s no turning back the clock. We can enjoy them frozen or in preserves, or we can buy pale, unripe fruits shipped in from afar, but the pungent sweetness of a perfectly ripe, just-picked raspberry, blueberry, or huckleberry is only a memory. If we revel in the abundance, enjoying berries to the fullest while they are at their peak, those vivid memories will carry us through a long winter. The recipes below are invitations to join in the revelry.

Olive oil cake. PHOTO BY CAROL FREY

Olive oil cake. PHOTO BY CAROL FREY

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with an unadorned berry. On the days when we bring home armloads of fresh-picked fruit, we’ll sit down with a cool drink, a bowlful of berries and just eat…and eat…and eat. Fresh berries are heavenly on their own, but there’s no need to stop there.

The following recipes are extremely versatile; they can be made with whichever berries you have at the moment and can adapt to whichever meal you want to make special. We recently had Whole Wheat Shortcakes for breakfast with just a little strawberry whipped cream and heaps of fresh berries. Licking his fork, my four-year-old son gleefully announced his intent to call all our relatives to tell them we were having “cake for breakfast!” (Strawberries are over now, but a similar Raspberry Whipped Cream recipe follows.)

Shortcake is simply an enriched and sweetened biscuit. In this case, the biscuit is made with whole wheat and sweetened with honey. I prefer whole wheat shortcakes, because whole wheat seems to balance out sweet toppings and whipped cream better than white flour. The recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, but you can substitute regular whole wheat flour if you prefer. The shortcake will be heartier and will rise a little less than the pastry flour version, but will still be delicious.  Just cut the warm biscuits open and top with your favorite berries or preserves and a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

The Blueberry Lemon Scone recipe is just as flexible. You can make these by folding in fresh blueberries or follow the alternative directions to spread them with Blueberry Lemon Sauce before baking. The sauce oozes slightly from between the layers, adding richness and bite to a not-too-sweet treat. The recipe calls for barley flour, which has a subtle nuttiness that works well with fruit, but like the Whole Wheat Shortcake, other flours will also work.

The final recipe is for a Honey Olive Oil Cake. Perfect as the base for a parfait or other decadent dessert, the simple recipe makes a thin, moist layer to soak in the fruit sauce or preserves of your choice. Top with whipped cream and enjoy while a midsummer evening draws to a close.

These recipes are no more than jumping off points. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. Happy berrying!

 

 

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Lemon blueberry scones (above) and honey whole wheat shortcake (below). PHOTOS BY CAROL FREY

Lemon blueberry scones (above) and honey whole wheat shortcake (below). PHOTOS BY CAROL FREY

Ingredients 

1 ¼ cup whole barley flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon lemon zest

½ cup (1 stick) cold butter

½ cup whole milk

1 egg

1 cup fresh blueberries or Lemon Blueberry Sauce (recipe below)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together barley flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.

Cut butter into ½ inch pieces, add to bowl of dry ingredients. Working quickly, rub butter into flour using a snapping motion until all pieces are dime- to quarter-sized. If this process takes more than five minutes, or if your kitchen is especially warm, place work bowl in fridge for ten minutes before proceeding with remaining steps.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and egg until well-combined. Pour into flour bowl and scrape mixture together until just combined. Fold in fresh blueberries, if using.

Turn onto well-floured surface and continue to combine, using dough scraper or floured hands to fold 2 or 3 times if necessary.

When dough can be patted into shape, make rectangle approximately ¾ of an inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut into dough into triangles and move to greased baking sheet.

Bake for 22 minutes, turning pan halfway through.

 

Alternative directions: Follow directions through dough-making step. Omit fresh blueberries. When dough is shaped, divide into two pieces. Pat each piece into matching rounds ½ an inch thick. Spread Lemon Blueberry Sauce on one round, cover with second round.

Using a sharp knife, cut dough into triangles and move to greased baking sheet.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, turning pan halfway through.

 

Lemon Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients 

3/4 cup honey (adjust for sweetness of berries)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 cups of blueberries

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

 

Directions

In a medium saucepan, whisk honey, cornstarch and zest until combined.

Add blueberries and lemon juice and cook over low-medium heat, stirring constantly.  When sauce thickens and becomes clear, remove from heat and allow to cool.  Use warm or store in refrigerator.

 

Raspberry Whipped Cream

 

Ingredients 

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon honey, adjust for tartness of fruit (less for sweeter berries)

½ cup raspberry preserves or compote

 

Directions

Whisk together cream and honey until well combined. If cream is warm, chill in fridge for 15 minutes before whipping.

With an electric or stand mixer on medium-high, whip honey-cream mixture until soft peaks form. Fold in fruit preserves.

Use or chill immediately.

 

Honey Whole Wheat Shortcakeshortcake web

Ingredients 

2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup bread flour

¾ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ cup (1 stick) butter

¾ cup whole milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons honey

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Grease or line two 8” cake pans with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk flours, salt and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, whisk milk, egg and honey together until well combined.

Cut butter into ½ inch pieces, add to bowl of dry ingredients. Working quickly, rub butter into flour using a snapping motion until all pieces are dime- to quarter-sized. If this process takes more than five minutes, or if your kitchen is especially warm, place work bowl in fridge for 10 minutes before proceeding with remaining steps.

Make a well in the flour and add the wet ingredients. Stir until barely combined.

Turn onto well-floured surface and continue to combine, using dough scraper or floured hands to fold 2 or 3 times if necessary. When dough has come together just enough to be patted into shape, make a square 3/4 of a inch thick. Use sharp knife or biscuit cutters to cut into 12-16 biscuits, transferring to baking sheet or round pan.

Bake approximately 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. When tops are golden, remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Use warm or cool and freeze.

Olive Oil Honey Cake

 

Ingredients 

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup whole milk

¼ cup olive oil

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a quarter sheet pan or line with parchment.

Whisk or sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat together egg and honey on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add flour mixture, milk and oil. Stir on medium low, scraping down bowl as necessary until well combined, without lumps.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until surface is golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

 

Published in the July 2015 issue of Grow Northwest

Leave a Comment