Monday, May 26, 2014

Blackberries and Crostatas.... a match made in heaven.

Celebrations! Don't we love them? From day one of a New Year to the very last second of year end we are finding different ways to celebrate. And, if you're around me ... then, no doubt food will be involved.

One way I enjoy celebrating with friends and family is on their birthdays with a special gift of a cake, cookies or pastry. And the pastry of choice this month is a Blackberry Crostata. 

Most of you who follow the blog on a regular basis have seen crostatas before, but not with fresh blakberries. This union was a match made in heaven.
The filing was made with fresh blackberries from the market. Create a jam with a half a pint of blackberries, squeeze of 1/2 a fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let the ingrediants come to a simmer and add 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to liquify and keep from burning. This shouldn't take more than 5 - 8 minutes.

Once the mixture has a jelly/jam like consistency take off the heat and place in a bowl to cool to room temperature. Allow the mixture to cool then strain. Reserve any juice for a suprise ingrediant and the end of the article. Prepare the Crostata crust by following the recipes on the blog or go to Giada De Laurentis website for directions. She is awesome!

Cook the crostata as directed. Once cooked and the filing is still warm delicately place more fresh whole blackberries ontop of the filling. The heat from the warm jam will warm the fresh berries and hold them in place. Why do this step? Why not just cook all the berries? I prefer the taste of whole fruit with minimal sugar, but most fruits need a little help with natural sugar. In addition I like the consistency of cooked jam with whole berries. Just that burst of flavor when you bit down on the crust and instead of just jam ... you have a whole fresh berry bursting with flavor. Doesnt quite work with apples, pears or even plums. But, the blackberry can hold up to the task. Lasly, If you desire... while warm drizzle with honey or melted butter. 

Now, for the suprise. In picture below "C'est fini" that isnt ice cream... that is homemade Blackberry Whip Cream. 

C'est fini!

Ever-so delicious! After this you will never make whip cream the same ole way. Pour very cold heavy whipping cream (1 cup), with 1teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest into a stand mixer fitted with wire whip. While mixing the whip cream pour in the reserved blackberry liquid. 

Slowly incorporate the liquid while the whip cream is mixing. Watch the mixture turn from milky white to a rich pink. Whip the mixture until smooth and firm. Spoon out a dollap and serve with room temperature pie.

My birthay is May 28th... will I celebrate with a Crostata? Most definitely... I'm been working on a chocolate version. Still in testing mode.

Remember, cooking with love makes any recipe taste better. Show someone you love with a gift of food.
Lady E