Monday, August 24, 2009

The Blueberries Taste Like Blueberries

So you've listened to my advice and have gone blueberry picking. What do you do now with 4 quarts of blueberries?

Freeze them!

Frozen blueberries are great in fruit smoothies, blueberry pies and other desserts. Researchers at Tufts University and the USDA Center for Aging put blueberries at the top of their list of 40 fruits that deliver antioxidant activity.

To freeze blueberries simply wash and dry the berries - removing any stems or debris. Spread out the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours until the berries are frozen. Berries can then be transferred to a Ziploc freezer bag and put back in the freezer until future use.

Check out this recipe I have adapted using local fresh or frozen blueberries and raspberries.


Makes 4 Servings

Mascarpone cheese, a velvety rich Italian cream cheese, has been made famous by chefs in America for it's use in tiramisu. I prefer to either make my own or purchase Vermont Butter and Cheese Company's mascarpone. For this recipe I have adapted traditional Tiramisu using fresh local berries readily available this time of year.

While summer raspberries are no longer available - try this recipe with some frozen raspberries or wait for the fall raspberries to ripen (soon!). For some fall raspberries go to the Isham Family Farm or the Charlotte Berry Farm.

1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh raspberries

1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese

10-12 Savoiardi biscuits (Lady Fingers)
1/2 cup Chambord or other raspberry liqueur

Fresh mint sprigs and 10-15 blueberries for garnish
4 martini glasses

1. In a medium saucepan combine blueberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the berries give off their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the raspberries and cook until they are heated through but still hold their shape, about 2 minutes. Remove the berry mixture from the heat and let cool.

2. Dip both sides of each lady finger in the Chambord and place on a plate and set aside to let the liqueur soak in. In the meantime make the mascarpone cream.

3. In a medium bowl, combine confectioner's sugar and heavy cream. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add in the mascarpone cheese and continue to beat until a smooth cream is formed, about 1 minute.

4. To assemble the Berrymisu, spoon about one tablespoon of mascapone cream into the bottom of each martini glass. Next add a layer of the soaked lady fingers, enough to cover the cream. On top of the lady fingers, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the berry mixture. Repeat layers one more time - you should be ending with the mascarpone cream on top (3-4 tablespoons for top layer of mascarpone cream). Smooth out the cream and garnish with mint and fresh berries.

5. Cover each martini glass and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

- Copyright In Season Personal Chef and Nutrition Services

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