1 September 2008

Blackberry-Mascarpone Cheese Crepes

Blackberry-Mascarpone Cheese Crepes
When you hear the word Blackberry do you think of THIS?????????????....

The Blackberry was developed by the Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) and delivers information over the wireless data networks of mobile phone service companies. My brothers long term girlfriend works there in Waterloo. I want to work there too for all the free stuff and their modern methods of treating their staff.

Now... living in British Columbia when I think of blackberry I think of THIS....

"Oh, blackberry tart, with berries as big as your thumb, purple and black, and thick with juice, and a crust to endear them that will go to cream in your mouth, and both passing down with such a taste that will make you close your eyes and wish you might live forever in the wilderness of that rich moment." - Richard Llewellyn



On my weekly visit to the farmers market there were many enterprising farmers who either grow cultivars or send someone to pick them on the coast so that they will be available to us semi-desert dwellers here in the Okanagan Valley. They grow wild all over the west coast near Vancouver but not here. They also grow all over Britain and some of the Northern European countries as well. My mom and dad remember going blackberry picking when they were kids in Northern England. Although wild blackberry bushes produce smaller berries than the cultivated varieties you plant from a nursery, the wild berries are arguably more flavourful. I think they all taste like a little bit of heaven to me.

When picking blackberries, remember that the dark purple juices will not only stain your hands but also your clothes. The same goes for cooking with them as well. In ancient times blackberry juice was used as a dye after all.

Do not wash or hull berries until you're ready to use them, and refrigerate unwashed berries as soon as possible.Store them in a colander in the refrigerator. This allows the cold air to circulate around them.

Tip: Remove berries from the refrigerator one to two hours before serving. Berries are at their fullest flavor at room temperature.

To freeze blackberries, simply put them unwashed in freezer containers, seal, and place in freezer.

According to folklore legend, on October 10th the Devil pees on the blackberries and they become unfit to eat. Undoubtedly they are past their prime by then and often full of small worms, so, not as palatable to eat as blackberries from earlier in the season. Isn't that a pleasant thought...wink...wink...

If I lived on the west coast I would search out a blackberry patch with its large thorns and wait anxiously for the season. These berries are the best and FREE no less. Some day I might take a trip to Vancouver to pick them myself . Nevertheless I picked up several pint baskets with blackberries the size of small plums at the market for $4.00 a basket. I couldn't resist showing you this photo of some cultivars in England. Look at the size of those berries!!!!!!!!!

Blackberries
The nights are getting cooler and fall seems to be in the air. My thoughts turn to picking berries and when they do I think of bears. It’s the time of year to become more bear aware in the Central Okanagan. As the fruit crops ripen and the regular high elevation food sources start to decline, bears are making more and more visits into the valley. Recently, bears have been sighted by Regional Park staff and park visitors along the second phase of the Mission Creek Greenway where I go polewalking and in Mission Creek and Hardy Falls Regional Parks. At this time of year with the Kokanee spawning season underway, it’s not unusual for bears to be encountered along local creeks and rivers, as the fish provide a plentiful source of food as well. While hiking in the Gallaghers Canyon area I saw fresh bear scat so moved quickly out of the area. Do not pass go...do not collect $200!! If I see a bear anywhere I will stay well away from it.

This crepe recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine. Making the crepes in the blender speeds up the process a little. The batter still needs to sit for at least a half hour before being able to be used.

**Blackberry-Mascarpone Cheese Crepes**

8 Blender Crepes
5 cups fresh blackberries, divided
3/4 cup water, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brandy (or Grand Marnier)
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat mascarpone cheese, softened
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Prepare Blender Crepes as below; set aside.

Combine 1 cup blackberries and 1/2 cup water in a blender. Process about 1 minute or until smooth. Strain blackberry mixture through a sieve.

Combine blackberry purée, 1/4 cup water, granulated sugar, lemon juice, brandy, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter.

Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese over each crepe, and top each with 2 teaspoons sauce and 1/4 cup blackberries. Fold each crepe in half, then in quarters. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce on each of 8 dessert plates; top each with 1 crepe and 1/4 cup blackberries. Sift powdered sugar evenly over crepes.
Serves 8

**Blender Crepes**

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
Cooking spray

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, milk, sugar, and egg in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour batter into bowl; cover and chill 30 minutes.

Place an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Remove pan from heat. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into pan; quickly tilt pan in all directions so batter covers pan with a thin film. Cook about 1 minute.

Carefully lift edge of crepe with a spatula to test for doneness. The crepe is ready to turn when it can be shaken loose from the pan and the underside is lightly browned. Turn crepe over; cook 10 seconds on other side.

Place crepe on towel; cool. Repeat procedure until all batter is used, stirring batter between crepes. Stack crepes between layers of wax paper or paper towels to prevent sticking.

Note: Coat pan with cooking spray only as needed while cooking the crepes. To make ahead, layer crepes between sheets of wax paper, and store in a zip-top bag in refrigerator.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

31 comments:

  1. Oh yummy! Those crêpes are definitely for me! delicious!

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. I am loving all your berry posts! This is one makes me super hungry!

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  3. I think I saw some wild berries which I think must be blackberries when I went to Sparta the last time but they were not ripe yet. I love crepes and surely would love these.

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  4. I'm so not hip and cool. I immediately think of fruit when I hear blackberry and not any sort of technology.

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  5. I love crepes, and these are just too good to stay on you blog. Suddenly, slathering Nutella (no matter how delectable) on my crepes doesn't seem enough. Thanks for a great recipe!

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  6. Oh my sheer bliss on a plate Val with your crêpes & berries!!

    Rosie x

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  7. I love blackberries - in pretty much any way, shape or form. We haven't had many, but we've had tons of good blueberries this year, so I can't complain.

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  8. Hola Sweetie!!!! I've been missing you too♥♥

    I used to go and pick blacberries with my grandmom when I was a small kid and I loved it! It was said that if you got a stain with its juice you could take the stain off with a green berry (one that wasn't ripe yet) Don't know if that is true ???

    How can they be this big? Wow! amazing! Your crepes are delicious as always Valli :D

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  9. Those look gorgeous!
    I get tiny wild blackberries and black raspberries in my backyard but I usually end up eating them all out of hand before I get to make anything with them.

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  10. What a great way to enjoy some blackberries!

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  11. I love crepes! WIll try this out

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  12. Ive got a blackberries growing over my fence in my back garden - Im not complaining!!! These look great

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  13. YUM! My grandpa used to have blackberry bushes on his property. I vividly remember picking berries at his house and filling a bucket that typically wouldn't make it back to the house full of berries because we'd eat them all on the hike back.

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  14. Let's see. I love blackberries. I think mascarpone is food of the gods. I believe crepes to be one of the simplest, best things ever. Safe to say I would looooooove these :)

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  15. I love those blackberries but they are so expensive. Lovely crêpes.

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  16. OMG, those blackberries are soo on steroids! They're huge! You know, Val, this reminds me of an exchange I overheard in the movie theatre the other day. A middle aged man was showing his elderly mother his new blackberry, and she replied, "Oh, I know what that is. It's a blueberry!"

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  17. I am crack berry addict. And I can become addicted to these crepes too. Send me your adress as you won the my book give away! cococooks{AT}HOTMAIL{DOT)com.

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  18. Incredible blackberries!!! Those things are huge! Love the recipe. I have a weakness for anything with marscapone!

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  19. These crepes look marvelous! Every time I see a berry these days, I feel sad, because summer's over. Next year. . .

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  20. these look ridiculously delicious. I was just in San Francisco for the weekend and my friend and I took a walk early one morning and found a patch of blackberries just growing along the sidewalk. we had nothing to store the berries so we just munched as we walked. alas! I'm going to pick some up at my farmers' market this weekend so I can try this recipe.

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  21. I like these blackberry beauties so much better than the digital device - yummy!

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  22. how the heck did I miss this. I come here almost every day...sometimes 2/3 times. When did you sneak this deliciousness in??? I grew up with blackberries, but now sadly I have to buy them at a price.....

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  23. No I do not think of the phone when I think of blackberry ;))
    Ho boy I can't believe how big those English ones are! When we visit Seattle and Portland, both out boys have places close by where we can pick big blackberries. Your crepes look lovely.

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  24. These crepes lood delicious Val! I'm lucky enough to have quite a few growing in my garden. I keep meaning to make a rhubarb and blackberry crumble - but somehow keep eating all the berries before I manage!

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  25. what a treat... looks great... :)

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  26. Now those are some berries! So jealous!

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  27. Being a crepe and berry lover, this recipe looks & sounds mouthwateringly (I think I just made that word up) delicious!

    And that photo of the large blackberries...I've never seen blackberries so darn humongous! You said they were from England, any idea on that variety's name?

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  28. Sandie: The berries Black Butte
    Currently the largest fruited Blackberry available, Black Butte has berries almost twice the size of any other variety with fruit averaging 11.7g. The huge fruit, which grow up to 5cm (2") long, have a firm texture with a rich, sweet flavour.

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  29. I am posting Berry Mascarpone Blintzes later this week. Great minds!...

    I can't keep up with you, too much good stuff the last few days!

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  30. Aaaaah, nooooo, attack of the mutant blackberries! Just look at those whoppers! I *love* blackberries so your recipe is perfect, even with regular-sized blackberries. And the story of the devil & the berries is priceless, LOL!

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  31. Mascarpone is my new favorite ingredient. YUM! Love your blog!!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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