I saw some blackberries on 6th Avenue yesterday, right near where I parked to go to the studio. They were poking through a chain-link fence that encloses an empty gravel lot. There were lots of berries, many of them not ripe yet.
So yes, I know it’s not over, but it’s been cool and cloudy, which is bad for developing sugar in the berries. And there are a few bright red leaves on the cherry tree down the lane, the unwelcome first signs of season change.
Which would all be fine except that I’m watching my mind switching to fall mode, and I don’t like it.
It will be pure luck if I pick again over the weekend, and after Labour Day, finding time will be much harder than it is now.
Eventually I’m going to have to pick again, or come to terms with not picking, and it’s driving me crazy. Yes, that would be the dark side of blackberry madness.
At least I’ve built up a small stock of frozen berries. That means this winter I can indulge in one of my favorite cooking accidents, sorbet made in the food processor from frozen berries.
A few years ago I was planning to make a raspberry sauce to go with a cold lemon soufflé. True to form, I ran out of time before dinner, so I planned to make the sauce after the main course was cleared.
After all, it’s a pleasant little pause that allows the guests time to recover their appetites for dessert – so why not?
The flaw in the plan? Not only had I not made the sauce, I hadn’t defrosted the berries. I popped them in the food processor anyway, with a little icing sugar and lemon juice, and, oh delight, ended up with a very nice sorbet.
I’ve made it several times since then, on purpose, with frozen raspberries.
When it came to blackberries, I had two questions:
Would the blackberry flavor come through?
And would the seeds, which can be prominent in blackberry jam, be okay?
The answers were yes, and yes.
The sorbet was a triumph of blackberriness and the seeds were no problem.
We were getting ready to leave for Read Island, so there was no time to fuss with a cold lemon soufflé, as nice as that would have been.
But I was making chocolate chip cookies to take to Read. And there you were, available to shape and bake them.
So Kris, here’s a confession. Although I sometimes tease you about your tiny-food fetish, I really liked those tiny, uniform cookies you made with the cookie scoop. And they made a great dessert with blackberry sorbet.
The original inspiration for the sauce was Lori Longbotham's. I've played fast and loose with quantities and method.
- 3 cups frozen blackberries
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Add berries, icing sugar and lemon juice to the work bowl of the food processor. Pulse until smooth.
- Serve immediately, or pack into a freezer container and keep frozen.
- Take the sorbet out of the freezer 20 minutes before you plan to serve it.
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