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Entries in Blackberries (2)


Mixed-berry jam

This is Week #49 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

Well well well. I am weeks behind in this challenge. The one that was supposed to end back in 2011. Please forgive me. I have been a bit preoccupied with sweets! But I'm back on track. In fact, I hope to post the last of the recipes for this challenge this week!

This is the first time I have attempted jam, so I didn't know what to expect. Well guess what. I am head-over-heels in love, and I'm not the only person in this house who fell hard. My four-year-old ate every single bite of his pb&j for the first time ever! Crusts and all.

In a large saucepan, toss 1 pound of hulled and quartered strawberries with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is mostly dissolved. This takes about 1 hour.

Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon (seeded) over the strawberries and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the strawberries are just softened, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 pound of mixed blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. 

Cook over moderate heat until the liquid runs off the side of a spoon in thick, heavy drops, 20 to 25 minutes. Skim any scum that rises to the surface.

Discard the lemon.

Spoon the jam into three 1/2-pint jars, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top. Close the jars and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

This stuff is seriously delicious, you guys. I hope you enjoy!

Click here for a printable recipe!


Chocolate-berry ice cream cake

I have come to realize that some of the same issues that plague me as a human being also plague my 4-year-old. I have always struggled greatly with patience. Or, more accurately, impatience. And I didn't really see this as a problem until I experienced the frustrations surrounding the impatience of my oldest child. So now I figure, if I'm constantly telling Elijah to "Please be patient!" then I had better exercise some patience myself. Like, when it is practically May and snow is in the forecast, I remind myself to CONTINUE BEING PATIENT WITH THIS TERRIBLE WINTER. Spring will come eventually. It will stop snowing, blowing and raining and the sun will shine again. Won't it?

So even though spring hasn't truly arrived here in our little part of the world, that doesn't mean I can't prepare food that makes me think of it! I made this ice cream cake for Easter dessert on Sunday, when the weather was actually delightful. We indulged in ice cream while the sun shone, even if for a short while.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Whisk in:

1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the batter into the greased pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely.

Place 1 cup of fresh blackberries in a medium bowl and mash gently with a fork.

Stir in 1 pint of softened vanilla ice cream.

Spread the ice cream-blackberry mixture in an even layer over the cooled cake. Freeze until the ice cream is very firm, at least 2 hours.

Spread 1 pint of softened raspberry sorbet in an even layer over the top of the ice cream and freeze for 1 additional hour.

Top with fresh blackberries, if desired. I adore the sweet-tartness of fresh blackberries!

And go ahead and pretend it is spring! Or maybe it actually is spring where you live??

Click here for a printable recipe!