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Monday, February 21, 2011

Berry Nice...

Originally uploaded to Flickr by D Sharon Pruitt

Summer has been a bit of a fizzer here so far - a few ridiculously hot days but most days barely making it out of the 20s (I've got longsleeves and jeans on today). Having said that, the berries have been great this season (we've even had a handful of bramble berries from a rose that's gone wild in our front garden!). The raspberries are particularly good - red, juicy and velvety and while I'd happily just eat them straight out of the punnet (and quite often do) I've also been enjoying them in these two incredibly simple recipes.

I first came across this Hands-Free Raspberry Jam recipe in Nigella Lawson's 'How To Be A Kitchen Goddess' but I think the original source is probably Elizabeth David's 'Summer Cooking'. If you've never made jam before you really must try this one - if you have you may never go back to the old way. Basically you just heat an equal weight of white sugar and fresh raspberries in two separate pie plates in a medium oven for about 20 minutes. Remove both dishes from the oven, add the sugar to the raspberries, stir et voila, you have the most delicious raspberry jam in the world. Because the jam has not been boiled you will need to keep it in the fridge rather than in the cupboard but it will keep in sterilised jams for some months.

The other thing I've been making with gay abandon is Jamie Oliver's 1 Minute Berry Icecream. I really love this recipe. It is equally good served immediately as a kind of 'soft-serve' or the next day when it has had a chance to harden in the freezer. Normally I'd leave the mint out of a recipe like this one (I always worry the kids won't like it) but it really does add another dimension to the finished dessert so be brave.


  1. Yes, summer was barely noticed here as well. At the moment I'm wearing a jumper over long sleeves blouse and a sad face... :(
    I really don't miss winter!!

    Those recipes looks great!! Especially the 1-Minute berry ice cream which I'm going to try the minute the barometer will go over 30c!!! (hopefully Saturday!)

  2. We seem to have had a return to autumn in Brisbane today ... but our weekend was a summer scorcher ... the weather is doing all sorts of strange things lately.

    The two recipes you mention sound wonderful ... that's definitely my kind of jam and I never can resist an ice cream treat.

  3. Galit

    I love Winter but really a little sunshine wouldn't go astray would it?! Hopefully the weekend will bring some icecream weather with it.


    What a crazy Summer you've had up there this year! Hopefully a return to Autumn might also signify a return to more moderate (and predictable) weather patterns for all Queenslanders.

  4. I hope the sun comes out for you today. Maybe you'll get an Indian summer to compensate.

    I like the idea of the Minute Berry Ice-cream Caz and will try it out. I love fruity deserts. At the end of the summer we usually make mulberry sorbet with the berries from the tree that we don't manage to eat. It's delicious but a bit of a faff to do. I think that I could use this method of making a much easier desert.....come to think of it we may stay still have some frozen berries in the freezer that I could try this out I won't have to wait too long. I've got a bit of a bad chest at the moment so I'm avoiding dairy but as soon as it's better I will give this a go.

  5. P.S. Have you changed the colour of your blog layout? Or is it just me...... I like looks lighter and more summery...

  6. oh how i miss fresh summer berries! i may have to try making jam before summer gets here :)

  7. I've never heard of roses bearing fruit- i wish ours did that! :-)
    Our raspberries were gorgeous, very strong flavour. I wish they would grow year round, I never get tired of picking them and eating them straight away! Few make it back to the house...

    Wow, that's a darn quick ice cream! I might have to give this one a go with some frozen berries that have been languishing in the freezer for months...

  8. Deb

    I haven't actually changed my blog layout but I've noticed that it looks different in different browsers - glad you like it. I always a bit unsure of using colour. Hope you're feeling a bit better today.

    Believe me you don't wish that your roses were bearing fruit. They have to go seriously wild before they do and they are in a part of the garden we call the jungle! I'd just be happy with those luscious raspberries.

    Also I meant to say that I take your point about having to come back to a site to see if there's a reply. I'm not sure how to do the notification thing on Blogger(it's great on Wordpreess and Typepad sites)but I'll look into it.

  9. Hmm, disappointed- tried making the 'ice cream'- it should be called a smoothie! Nothing solid or even semi-solid about it, it's drinkable. I was hoping for an instant frozen dessert, and now have a container needing several hours' freezing before it's spoonworthy, just like when I make 'real' ice cream with cream and eggs and such. :-/
    Does yours really result in a soft-serve dessert right away? :-(

  10. Sorry to hear that your 'icecream' didn't work out:( Did you use a food processor or blender? I went back and read a thread on the Jamie forum that said it won't work in a blender as it takes too long and breaks down/thaws the berries too much. He also has a recipe for a mango version which uses 500g frozen mango cheeks to 250g yoghurt (which is half that used in the berry version) and he whizzes the fruit, honey and mint first before adding the yoghurt. Perhaps that is a better method?

    Sorry if I've led you up the garden path but I really did get it to 'soft serve' consistency right away so I'm not sure what happened. Let me know if you decide to try it again!

  11. Ah yes, I did use my blender! Whoops. I didn't realise it did things differently from a 'food processor' (which I do not own)... :-/
    I figured big thing with blades = good. Obviously not the same result!
    That'll teach me. :-)
    Never fear though, after being in the freezer overnight it does indeed make a nice frozen yoghurt (much easier to scoop out than homemade icecream, too!)- though next time I'll use more than just blackberries, it's a very strong flavour!