I haven’t made anything chocolatey for a while, for good reason: It’s summertime and there is such an abundance of fruits, veg and berries, that I should leave chocolate for the winter, when I am not as lucky. That said, chocolate is pretty good too, so I decided to make these sugar cookies. And pecans and sea salt? How can you go wrong!
It’s Friday. I have some berries left. I want a drink. This is what I came up with … a mojito with cassis (not my own homemade, though that is in progress) and some red currants thron in. Really summery and refreshing. Might have to make a couple more [grin].
What can you say really … when you have an overload of delicious berries from the Pick Your Own at Russell Orchards, you just have to go crazy. This is amazing, if I do say so myself. You might call it a cheesecake (very lemony!), you might call it a pie. I call it yummy. Topped with red and champagne currants (disclaimer: I got the champagne / pink ones from Whole Foods), jostaberries, strawberries (the very last of the season!), blueberries and raspberries. It’s a time consuming project, but oh so very very good. If you have 24 hours to spare (or at minimum twelve, but half of that is cooling time anyway), give it a go.
Here is Kat’s silly tip for the day, which you probably already know, but I am going to tell you again. When making muffins or quick breads, has it ever happened to you that the “stuff” (i.e. blueberries, chocolate chips, nuts) all gravitates to the bottom and then you have a nice top but everything else ends up in a gooey mess? solution: toss the berries, chocolate chips and/or nuts with a couple of spoonfuls of flour, creating a light coating. Then mix them into the batter. This makes the “stuff” grippier and it doesn’t all sink to the bottom!
What in the world is a jostaberry? Well, I had absolutely no idea wither until I picked them … by accident … thinking that they were large black currants. Oops. They are a hybrid between a black currant, a North American coastal black gooseberry and a regular gooseberry. Of course! I don’t think that this helps anyone much, but is essence, they are a large black currant or a small black gooseberry, about the size of a cultivated blueberry (so not the Maine wild blueberries, but more the high bush kind) that taste a little like a gooseberry and a lot like a black currant. Clear as mud? I thought so.
From a linguistic point of view — me being German and all — it is kind of interesting too: The name Jostaberry was created via combining the German words for blackcurrant and gooseberry, namely Johannisbeere (“Jo”) and Stachelbeere (“Sta”). Following German pronunciation of “J”, it should be pronounced “yostaberry” in English.
But what they really are is a great base for jam. This turned out wonderfully. It’s not too sweet, has the distinct tartness that any currant jam will give you and jelled really nicely as well. It will go great mixed into my morning yogurt.