Saturday, August 29, 2009

3 Nights of Blackberry Desserts

During my last week at Rokeby, Howie discovered a plentiful blackberry bramble behind the white house. It was probably the most fruitful berry patch I have ever foraged from, and the fruits of our labor yielded 3 nights of blackberry desserts. First we enjoyed a blackberry-ginger cobbler.
For the biscuit topping I used a recipe for "Yankee Biscuits" I got from Clara. It is as follows:
Yankee Biscuits
3 c. flour
2 Tblsp. sugar
2 Tblsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter
1 1/2 c. cold milk

Combine dry, cut in butter until consistency of cornmeal & peas. Add milk, stir gently. Place on floured board and knead 14 times. Roll out into 1-inch. Cut and bake for 15 minutes in 425 degree oven.

I just rolled out the biscuit topping, and placed it on top of the blackberry filling, which I had poured into a cake pan. We enjoyed it a la mode, after Louis' delicious fish stew. The second night, I made a blackberry rustic tart, topped with Sam Comfort's honey from Anarchy Apiaries. It was basically a pie with a thrown-together/less-artful crust. And for the last night and a Big House-Yellow House Cookout with guest Diane Cook, I made a blackberry-ginger pie, washed with a brilliant orange egg from the hens of Shoving Leopard farm. The fillings of all three were riffs on the recipe used here, with ginger or honey added. Eggwashed and baked, with a poem...
Blackberry Pie
by Jennifer Rae Vernon


is kernels of juice
blue, mom makes it do
magic heat to vanilla ice cream
purple dream

there were many nice things,
the corduroy pinafore
the daily notes in lunch sack
of a smiley face and curly cue hair
your mama loves you, and do great
with a thermos of homemade soup

dad too, he rocked me on front porch
after seven yellow jacket stings
i howled through the valley
in baking soda paste
while he sang, in the big rock candy mountain...

but just like grandma vernon always said
don't bother doing anything nice for your children
they'll only remember the bad things, anyway
like when she tethered my dad
to the front yard tree
so he could play when she was at work

was that bad? a ruined childhood?
bless her heart
and pie too, is sometimes
tart

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