By Marsha Fottler –
This is the season that berry lovers wait for. Heritage recipes come out of shoe boxes (unless they have finally been digitally saved) and both home cooks and restaurant chefs alike scour magazines and new cookbooks for enticing recipes featuring blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Berry muffins or pancakes for breakfast, berry salads or cold soups for lunch, berry sauces for our meats and seafoods at dinner and, of course, berry desserts with ice cream or fresh whipped cream. This is the month to celebrate berries. Let us help with recipes from some of our favorite secret and well-known sources.
In the not too distant past there was a wonderful multi-floor department store in downtown Boston that was called Jordan Marsh. And in that store was a bakery that produced blueberry muffins so flavorful that they were legendary. Hardly anyone shopped at Jordan’s who didn’t stop to have a muffin and a cup of coffee or who didn’t run in to take a dozen home before hopping onto the subway. Downtown workers lined up at lunchtime and people who lived in the commercial neighborhood were lucky indeed. They could munch muffins whenever they wanted. Below is that recipe for Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins supplied to Flavors & More by my sister-in-law Marilyn Mahoney. She makes these muffins often as I do with local farm-stand blueberries. For breakfast, serve them warm, split and slathered with butter. Have one with a tossed salad for lunch and they’re great with ice cream for dessert.
The other recipes we’ve chosen to enliven your summer berry menus are ones that are tried and true here at Flavors & More. They include one by Ireland’s most famous professional cook, Rachel Allen, and another by a Hamptons chef who grows his own berries and herbs. We love what these cooks do with berries and feel confident that you will too. Happy Berry Season.
Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
½ cup butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
½ cup milk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons sugar
Preheat over to 375. At low speed with an electric mixer, cream butter adding sugar gradually. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk. Stir in 1/2 cup mashed blueberries and then stir in the remaining whole berries. Put in muffin cups and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Little Raspberry Cakes
(from Rachel’s Favourite Food by Rachel Allen. Makes 12).
6 ounces butter
6 ounces sugar
1 ¾ ounce all-purpose flour
3 ? ounces ground almonds
60 fresh raspberries
Preheat over to 325. Melt the butter and let it cool. With a bit of the melted butter, brush the insides of a muffin tin. Sift the sugar and flour and add the ground almonds. Beat the eggs with a fork and add to the mixture, stirring to combine. Add the cooled melted butter and mix. It will be a soft batter. Pour into the muffin tin and top each with about 5 raspberries. Place the cakes in the oven and cook for 14-18 minutes, until just firm in the center. Wait for a few minutes before trying to take them our of the muffin cups. Dust with sugar.
Fizzy Strawberry-Basil Lemonade
(from The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook by Leeann Lavin. Recipe from Restaurant Mirabelle & Tavern Meirabell, Chef Guy Reuge. Serves 4.)
Juice of 6 large lemons
water, as needed
25 medium-sized lemon basil leaves
6 tablespoons simple syrup (equal parts granulated sugar and water brought to a boil and then allowed to cool)
24 ounces club soda, approximately
4 sprigs lemon basil, for garnish.
Remove the stems from the strawberries and put in a blender with the juice from 2 lemons and a few tablespoons of water, enough to get the strawberries to puree. Set aside. In a bar shaker, add several ice cubes, the remaining lemon juice and the basil leaves. Shave well for 30 seconds to release the aromatics from the basil. Strain the lemon basil-infused juice into the strawberry puree. Add the in simple syrup. Fill hi-ball glasses with ice and add a quarter of the strawberry mixture to each glass. Stir in the club soda, garnish with a basil sprig and enjoy. So very refreshing.
(from Food Network’s Pioneer Woman who is home cook Lee Drumond. 4 servings).
1/2 stick butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh blackberries
Whipped cream and/or ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in the melted butter. Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the blackberries. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. When 10 minutes of the cooking time remains, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.