Willard Bay Blackberries are here. The day I look forward to all summer. LOVE THEM!!!
Especially in Blackberry Shortcake, blackberry jam and syrup. I also throw blackberries in my peach cobbler. The colors are so vibrant and the flavors so strong.
My favorite time of year...the harvest.
I'm going to get on my soapbox right now. I hope you have a farmers market in your area. If you do, that's awesome and if you haven't attended your local farmers market, SHAME ON YOU!!!!
The farmers market is better than a shoe store...for me, anyway. LOVE THEM. I just cant wait until the opening day. I believe in buying local and supporting local growers and businesses.
These pictures were taken with my phone so they are not a clear as I would like them.
Just take a look at the fresh picked produce just waiting for you.
Ahhh, Jacobs Cove heirloom tomatoes.
And here they are...my Willard Bay Blackberries.
I'm going to make a few suggestions for the Salt Lake City Farmers Market held on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Make sure you get there early. The most popular items go fast! First stop, run don't walk, is Crumb Bro. Bakery. Buy at least 6 "Morning Buns" and "Oat Cakes". Oh my.
Next stop Volkers Breads. You must dip deep into your wallet and purchase their Stolen Bread. Oh My Gosh! There is a ribbon of marzipan the size of a quarter that runs through the middle of the bread. I love to toast it and eat it with a bowl of fresh peaches. THE best breakfast in the whole wide world. No lie.
Volkers "Lemon Sage" bread is fabulous in Thanksgiving stuffing. I cube and dry the bread then freeze it. It will actually hold great until thanksgiving. The "Cranberry Orange" bread makes heavenly french toast smothered in sauteed peaches. Oh my mouth is watering as I type.
Make sure you take plenty of cash with you. The vendors do not accept credit cards or checks. CASH ONLY. Go to an ATM and empty your account!
Do not disappoint me. You have to take a Saturday or ten and go to the farmers market. It will be one of the greatest experiences you have. Oh also bring bags to carry home your treasures to feast upon.
Let's get on with the Shortcakes.
You will need about 4 cups of these luscious blackberries that have been picked from a local grower or from your own garden.
Just for the fabulous color I like to throw in a couple of cups of Bearlake Raspberries.
For the shortcakes you will need: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, nutmeg, butter and buttermilk.
Put the flour into a medium size mixing bowl.
Add the sugar...
...the baking powder...
...the freshly grated nutmeg...
...and the freshly grated lemon zest.
Now give it a whisk to sift all the ingredients together.
Cut up the cold butter and add to the flour mixture.
Using a pastry blender, two knives, or your hands, cut in the butter into the flour mixture. Cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. What the heck is "course meal" anyway? Does anyone really know what that looks like??
Just mix in the butter until you can no longer see it. I'm guessing this is what coarse meal looks like.
Add the buttermilk in all at once.
Take a fork and gently mix in the buttermilk. You do not want to overmix.
Mix just until all of the dry ingredients look no longer....umm dry.
If you over mix the biscuit dough, you will have tough biscuits that resemble a doggy biscuit. We want our biscuits to me light.
I have a large ice cream scoop that I use. I think it's about 1/2 cup size. This way I get uniform biscuits. You can drop the dough from a large spoon. Just divide the dough into 6 biscuits.
I like using the scoop. So easy.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little of the buttermilk.
Sprinkle with a little sugar.
Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the oven and set aside until you are ready to use them.
Now let's move on to the berries.
Wash you berries well and drain.
You will need to add sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon to the berries.
Pour the berries into a medium size saucepan and add the nutmeg...
Don't forget to reserve some of the fresh berries for assembing the shortcake.
The addition of lemon juice brightens up the flavor of the berries. My berries are a bit tart so I'm only going to add about a 1/2 tablespoon.
Stir the ingredients together and place over medium heat.
Bring the berries to a gently simmer cook until they have rendered some juices. Remove from heat and set aside.
Let's whip the cream. You cannot have berries without cream.
Place 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream in a medium bowl. Add the sugar.
Add the vanilla extract.
Whip until soft peaks form. Set the cream aside.
TIME TO ASSEMBLE!!! Cut the biscuits in half.
Place the bottom half of the biscuit on a serving plate.
Ladle a scoop of the warm berries mixture on top of the bottom biscuit.
Add a dollop of whipped cream.
Arrange some of the fresh berries on top of the whipped cream. This makes such a difference in the shortcakes. The fresh berries just pop in your mouth when you bite into them.
Place the top half of the biscuit on top of the cream and berries.
Ladle on some more of the warm berries.
Finish with another dollop of cream and more fresh berries.
Take a look at the tenderness of the biscuit. I love the crisp bottom and edges of the biscuit combined with the soft tender center. It makes the bite absolutely divine.
I'm in love.
Make sure you get "THE perfect bite".
I just know we'll eat berries in heaven.
YES, I did actually like my plate clean. In fact, I ate the whole thing myself and loved every sweet and tart mouth full.
Blackberry Shortcakes with Rustic Buttermilk Biscuits
For the Biscuits:
2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1 cups buttermilk
For the Blackberries:
6 cups blackberries, picked over, rinsed and patted dry
¼ cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh lemon juice to taste
For the Whipped Cream:
1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the biscuits: Set a rack in the center of the oven; heat to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and nutmeg. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course meal. Gently stir I the buttermilk until the dough just holds together with no large, dry lumps.
Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet in six equal mounds. Brush the tops with buttermilk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the peaks have begun to brown and the bottoms are golden, so to 25 minutes. Let rest for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack. While still slightly warm, slice them open with a serrated knife.
To make the blackberry filling: Set aside 2 cups of the berries. In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, combine the remaining 4 cups of blackberries, sugar, water, lemon zest and nutmeg. Cook uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently until very soft and juicy, 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and add lemon juice and more sugar, if necessary. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, reheat the blueberry sauce until very warm and stir in the reserved blackberries.
To make the whipped cream: In a mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until medium peaks form and the beaters leave tracks on top of the cream.
To assemble: Put the bottom half of each biscuit on a plate. Spoon on about ½ cups of the blackberry mixture and a dollop of cream. Cover with the biscuit top. Top with another dollop of whipped cream and blackberries. Serve immediately, passing any remaining blackberry mixture at the table.
Blueberries can be used in place of Blackberries.
(Adapted From Susan Purdy author of “Let Them Eat Cake” 1997
Pull out your calendar - NOW! Schedule a date to attend your farmers market. Don't wait too long or you will completely miss out.
Peaches are starting to come on and they are devine. Tomatoes, peppers, corn, potatoes, melons...oh the melons. Did I mention APPLES?
I'm telling you as a friend that you will not find greater produce than the produce available from your local growers. Sorry, your local grocery store does not have produce that can compare. Costco, you say? Hahahahaaaa - please.
I offered some of the tomatoes from my garden to a friend for her salad. She turned down my offer and replied, "oh no I just bought a flat of tomatoes from Costco". Oh my...she needs help...serious help! (love you, Sue)