In my excitement during the berry season, I seem to purchase more than I can possible eat! I am clearly not complaining as I enjoy finding many ways to incorporate berries into my meals whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert! I’m sharing this recipe because it is one my first ‘go to’ choice when I have extra berries waiting to be used up.
Very similar to a Fruit Fool, I prefer Greek plain yogurt instead of sour cream which is normally used. I simmer the berries slightly instead of simply mashing them in their raw form with a bit of agave for sweetness and a dash of cinnamon. A tablespoon of Chambord or Grand Marnier never hurts either along with some lemon zest. I generally don’t make this overly sweet. Once the puree is made I place it in the frig overnight to thicken and chill.
Just having berry puree in my frig gives me options to add it to syrup for pancakes, in sauces for grilled chicken, pork or salmon, or top gelato. I love to add berry puree on top of brie, warming the brie to softly melt. This is actually a weekend brunch treat I adore with a toasted baguette or bagel.
For the Fool, I mix up yogurt with organic heavy cream and gently fold in the chilled and thickened berry puree. I don’t add in any sugar to the cream mixture and find that I do not need to make it any sweeter. This should be chilled for another few hours and then I’m ready to serve as is; in a pretty parfait glass with chopped toasted nuts or coconut or crumbed amaretto cookies or shaved chocolate.
The combined berries and yogurt mix will normally keep for a few days so my options then are to also use it as a thick, creamy topping for fresh cut up fruit, as a breakfast treat by topping with homemade granola or scooped on grilled pound cake!
Blackberry Fool, of sorts
2 cups fresh blackberries, or berries of your choice
Agave, about 1-2 tablespoons depending on sweetness of fruit and personal preference
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon Chambord, optional
½ cup Greek plain yogurt
½ cup organic whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest from one lemon
½ cup toasted pecans (or toasted coconut, shaved chocolate or amaretto cookie crumbs)
In a saucepan add the berries, cinnamon and agave. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and continue about 5-7 minutes, slightly mashing the berries. Adjust the sweetness to your taste. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the lemon zest and Chambord, if using. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to thicken and chill.
Combine the yogurt, whipping cream and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Using electric mixer, mix on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the chilled berry puree leaving streaks of the cream. Pour into parfait serving glasses and refrigerate until serving time, at least 2 hours. Top with toasted nuts, coconut, cookie crumbs or shaved chocolate.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.