|Blackberry-Mascarpone Cheese Crepes|
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.
"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!!!!!!!!!
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.
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
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.
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