Heat the oil in a frying pan, cook the venison for 5 mins, then turn over and cook for 3-5 mins more, depending on how rare you like it and the thickness of the meat (cook for 5-6 mins on each side for well done). Lift the meat from the pan and set aside to rest.
Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan, then pour in the stock, redcurrant jelly and garlic. Stir over quite a high heat to blend everything together, then add the blackberries and carry on cooking until they soften. Serve with the venison, celeriac mash and broccoli.
Berry Merry Christmas Cake
A fresh, zingy, summery Christmas cake for those not so keen on the heavy-on-the-dried-fruit-and-nuts variety.
1½ cups High grade flour
1⅔ cups Caster sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Ground nutmeg
½ tsp Salt
1 cup Dried or desiccated coconut,
50 g Fresh pecans, blitzed to a fine crumb
3 Lemons, zested
1 cup Youngberries, frozen
1 cup Blackcurrants, frozen
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
200 g Unsalted butter, melted
CHRISTMAS CREAM INGREDIENTS
250g Strawberries or Blackberries
1 sprinkle Icing sugar, enough to sweeten strawberries
1 splash Rum, or use gin
250 ml Cream
250 ml Creme fraiche
1 Orange, zest and juice
250 g Blueberries
1 small handful Chopped mint
½ tsp Christmas spice, optional*
½ Vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
100 g Pistachio nuts, crushed
If adding it, first make a Christmas spice mix by *lightly toasting black pepper, cloves, mace (or nutmeg), allspice berries and a piece of cinnamon bark. Blitz in a spice mill until finely ground (or use a mortar and pestle). Store in an airtight container.
To make the cake, heat oven to 180C. Lightly grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
Sift flour, ⅔ cup caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda, mace (or nutmeg) and salt together.
In a separate bowl mix coconut, pecans and zest together.
In another bowl, toss berries with a little of the flour mixture (1-2 Tbsp) to just coat them.
Beat the eggs with the remaining 1 cup caster sugar until mixture is pale and ribbony, and full of volume. Add vanilla.
Working in stages, sift and fold the flour into the eggs until just combined. Gently fold in the nut mix, followed by the melted butter, and fold to combine.
Pour half the batter into the tin and evenly distribute half the berries across the surface. Add the remaining batter and sprinkle the rest of the berries across the top. Bake until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes. Remove and allow to cool
To serve warm or cold, cut into squares, lightly dust with icing sugar and plate with a big spoonful of Christmas cream.
Finely slice strawberries, sprinkle with a little icing sugar and a glug of rum or gin and leave to macerate. Lightly whip cream and chill. Whip creme fraiche with the orange zest and juice until just smooth, then chill.
When time to serve the cake, mix the creams with the strawberries, blueberries, mint and Christmas spice, if using, and the vanilla seeds until just combined, then sprinkle with the lightly crushed pistachio nuts.
These Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Muffins are moist and fluffy, packed full of sweet juicy blueberries and definitely healthy enough for breakfast. They come together easily in one bowl and require just 35 minutes from start to finish!
60 g coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
200 ml unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
2 tablespoons lemon juice *
8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
100 g fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
Add the fresh blueberries and fold in gently, to make sure you don’t crush them
Transfer the mixture between 8 muffin cases in a muffin tin
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
Tastes best when fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
*If you don’t want to use lemon juice, substitute it with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar as you need something acidic to react with the alkali bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
**You can alternatively use almond flour
Though these muffins do obviously taste best when fresh, they keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days, and freeze well too. If you have just taken them out of the fridge of freezer, I’d recommend warming them up in an oven toaster if you have one.
Youngberry Ice Cream (the cheat’s way!)
Making your own ice cream is so easy you don’t even need an ice-cream machine. Buy a good-quality ice cream and stir in any sort of sweets, fruit or biscuits. Vary your combinations for added variety.
2 litres vanilla ice cream
410 g Wildebraam Youngberry jam or fresh Youngberries
100g pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
30ml chopped mint leaves, plus extra
100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Extra fresh youngberries and chopped chocolate to decorate
Line a bread tin with clingfilm and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it stand for a few minutes to soften before scooping it into a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix it until soft. Mix the youngberries, nuts, mint and chocolate into the soft ice cream and pour into the prepared bread tin. Freeze the ice cream overnight or until hard. Spoon the ice cream into glass bowls and garnish with extra berries and chocolate.
* Use only top-quality ice cream.
* Make the ice cream at least the night before you plan to serve it so that there’s enough time for it to freeze.
Blackberry Summer Pudding
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Unsalted butter, for the dish
1 loaf (about 1 pound) sliced white sandwich bread
1 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
8 cups blackberries (about 6 half-pints), plus more for serving
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
Toss 4 cups blackberries with the granulated sugar, honey and lemon zest and juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the berries burst, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 4 cups berries. Let cool.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 2-quart souffle dish and line with plastic wrap. Trim off the bread crusts, then line the bottom and sides of the dish with a single layer of bread, trimming the slices as needed to cover the dish completely.
Spoon half of the berries and juice into the dish. Cover with a single layer of bread slices. Top with the remaining berries and finish with another layer of bread to completely seal the pudding. Pour any remaining juices over the top layer and cover with plastic wrap. Set a small flat plate on top and weigh it down with a large heavy can. Refrigerate the pudding at least 6 hours or overnight.
Before serving, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a chilled bowl. Add the cream and confectioners’ sugar and beat with a mixer until it holds soft peaks.
Remove the plate and plastic wrap and set the souffle dish in a sink filled with 1 inch of warm water to loosen the pudding. Place a serving plate on top, invert the pudding onto the plate and remove the plastic wrap. Serve with the whipped cream and more blackberries.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Set your cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs on the counter.
Start with the blackberry puree. In a small saucepan, combine blackberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat to medium. Continue to stir every now and then for 5-8 minutes. Break up the blackberries with the back of your spoon. The syrup should be thickened. Set aside to cool, or throw it in the fridge.
Meanwhile, make the graham crackers crust. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor (or smash them with a rolling pin) until they are very fine crumbs. Add the sugar and melted butter to the food processor (or mix it in a bowl) and pulse until it looks thoroughly moistened, like wet sand.
Line an 8×8 inch pan with foil or parchment paper, if you want. (you don’t have to, it’s just easier to cut if you can lift it out.) Use the bottom of a glass to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan (not up the sides). Bake at 350 F for about 9 minutes. Set aside to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Beat on high for 3 or 4 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom at least twice. You want the cream cheese to get high and fluffy.
Add the sour cream and beat. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating in between. Add the fresh lemon juice and beat until smooth.
Once your graham cracker crust is not too hot to touch, pour the cream cheese mixture into the pan. Smooth it out with a spatula.
Use a spoon to dollop the blackberry puree all over the cheesecake. Use a sharp knife to swirl it together. Remember, less is more. You want to be able to see the white cheesecake on top, not just blackberry.
Bake at 325 F for 55-60 minutes. Keep a close eye on it toward the end. When you shake the pan, the center should not be jiggling any more than the outside edges. (The cheesecake will definitely jiggle, it’s not completely set yet. Just make sure it’s not sloshy in the middle.) If the cheesecake starts to brown on top, definitely take it out.
Let cool for at least an hour before putting it in the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, covered. Garnish with lemons and blackberries.
If you don’t like blackberry seeds, strain the puree through a mesh sieve after it cools down.
This cheesecake might crack. They’re bars though, so who cares? They’re like cheesecake’s kid sister, they don’t need to be quite so grown up. But if you don’t want it cracking then feel free to look up some water bath options.
This blackberry cake is soft and moist and has a fluffy lemon blackberry buttercream frosting. The lemon juice cuts the sweetness and brightens up the whole cake. See https://natashaskitchen.com/blackberry-cake-recipe/ for step by step images.
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour *measured correctly
1/2 tsp baking powder
Simple Lemon Syrup:
3/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice (from 1 large lemon)
Blackberry Frosting Ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz Cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt (I used fine sea salt)
2 packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll’s blackberries, divided (1 cup for frosting, 1 cup sliced for layers, 6 berries for decor).
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice from 1 medium lemon
Crystal sprinkles, optional
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment (this is the one I have), beat 6 large eggs for 1 minute on high speed. With the mixer on, gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating 8-10 minutes until thick and fluffy.
Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder then sift this mixture into fluffy egg mixture one third at a time. Fold with a spatula with each addition just until incorporated. Scrape spatula from the bottom to catch any pockets of flour and stop mixing when no streaks of flour remain. Do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter.
Divide evenly between prepared cake pans (it helps if you have a kitchen scaleto weight the pans). Bake at 350˚F for 23-28 minutes (my oven took 25 min), or until top is golden brown. Remove from pan by sliding a thin spatula (here’s the oneI love for cakes) around the edges then transfer to a wire rack and remove parchment backing. Cool cakes to room temperature then slice layers equally in half with a serrated knife.
How to Make Lemon Blackberry Frosting:
Combine 2 Tbsp lemon juice with 1 cup blackberries in small saucepan. Simmer 6-7 minutes or until berries easily mash up with a fork then turn off heat. Strain through a fine mesh Strainer, pushing the blackberries through with a spatula until only seeds are left in strainer. Discard seeds and set the puree aside to cool completely to room temp (you should get 5 Tbsp puree).
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream together 3 sticks butter, 3 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp salt on low speed until combined, scraping as necessary. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until white and fluffy (2 to 3 min).
Add cream cheese 1-piece at a time and mix until combined then continue to beat 2 min until fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on, drizzle in blackberry syrup 1 Tbsp at a time then beat another minute.
How to Assemble Blackberry Cake:
Slice 1 cup blackberries and set aside. Make your lemon syrup by combining 3/4 cup warm water, 1 Tbsp granulated sugar and 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice.
Place first cake layer on serving platter cut-side up. Brush with 1/4 of the lemon syrup. Spread frosting over the top and layer with 1/3 sliced berries. Repeat with remaining layers placing the final layer cut-side-down, then frost the top and sides. (Tip: For the smoothest results, reserve flattest cake-layer for the top)
Berry Beet Salad
Here’s a delightfully different salad that balances the earthy flavour of beets with the natural sweetness of berries. If you prefer, substitute crumbled feta for the goat cheese.
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
1 each fresh red and golden beets
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 cups torn mixed salad greens
1 ounce fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly sliced
Place beets in an 8-in. square baking dish; add 1 in. of water. Cover and bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper; set aside. Cool beets; peel and cut into thin slices.
In a large bowl, combine the beets, berries, walnuts and shallot. Pour dressing over beet mixture and toss gently to coat. Divide salad greens among four serving plates. Top with beet mixture; sprinkle with cheese and basil.
Originally published as Beet Strawberry Love Salad in Taste of Home Christmas Annual 2016
Blueberry muffins with cinnamon topping.
These blueberry muffins are easy to prepare and bake, and they freeze beautifully. Make them in advance and have them ready to reheat for guests.
Top these moist blueberry muffins with some vanilla sugar or a simple cinnamon sugar blend
7 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon sugar (mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Steps to Make It
Generously grease 12 muffin cups or spray with nonstick cooking spray or baking spray.
Heat the oven to 375°.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the melted butter and sugar. Beat until smooth and well blended. Beat in the eggs, then slowly beat in the milk and vanilla and almond extracts.
In another bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, soda, and salt. Slowly beat into the first mixture until well blended.
With a spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the blueberries.
Fill the prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. For uniform muffins, use a 1/4-cup scoop or measuring cup to measure the batter.
If desired, sprinkle with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Or sprinkle a little vanilla sugar over the muffins.
Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.
Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Using a butter knife, carefully loosen the muffins from the muffin cups and remove to a rack to cool completely. Serve right away or freeze the cooled muffins on a rack or sheet pan then transfer to freezer bags and label. Thaw at room temperature or heat in the microwave or oven.
To reheat the frozen muffins, place an unwrapped muffin on a paper towel or paper plate and microwave on full power for about 25 to 30 seconds.
Makes 1 dozen muffins.
Baking powder and soda interact quickly when combined with wet ingredients, so have the oven preheated and the pan ready before you finish the batter. Combine all dry ingredients separately and mix well; add the dry mixture to the well blended wet ingredients and mix just until moistened. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and bake as directed.
No Bake Mini Blackberry Cheesecake
Adorable No Bake Mini Blackberry Cheesecakes are ultra fresh, vibrant, and simple to make with no oven (or even stove) required! Perfect for spring or summer.
For the crust
1 sleeve (9 crackers, 140 grams) graham crackers
4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake
12 ounces (340 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature*
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup (80 grams) blackberry preserves
1 cup (145 grams) blackberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Blackberries, for garnish
For the crust:
Thoroughly grease a mini cheesecake pan. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this). Set aside.
For the cheesecake:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in the cream, lemon juice, and preserves and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes, until well combined and thickened, with a texture similar to frosting. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.
Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
For the topping:
Combine the berries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of the sauce. Garnish with a more fresh blackberries. Serve.
Berry Tartlets with Butter Crumble
Makes 6 tartlets
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes to chill.
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Pastry Crumble topping
150g plain flour 100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder 50g ground almonds
100g butter, plus extra for greasing 100g softened butter
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar (see below)
Pinch of salt
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease six 10-cm round tartlet tins.
2 To make the pastry, sift together the flour and the baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces, rub into the flour mixture then add the caster sugar, vanilla sugar, salt and egg, and knead until a firm dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap with clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
3 Divide the dough into 6 pieces and press 1 piece into each of the prepared tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins. Do not switch off the oven.
4 To make the crumble topping, put all the ingredients into a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until a crumbly texture is achieved.
5 To make the filling, scatter the berries over the pastry cases and sprinkle with the crumble topping.
6 Bake the tartlets in the oven for 20 minutes, then leave to cool in the tins. Release them from the tins using the point of a knife, dust with icing sugar and serve.