Monday, December 5, 2011

5 New Blackberry Recipes

I'm so excited to share these blackberry recipes with you!

I tried every one of them at the Driscoll's party and they are really tasty. Plus, I have my first ever giveaway. Somehow I walked away with an Extra Goody bag - so one lucky reader will get it!

Driscoll's Tote Bag, Driscoll's Fruit Colander, 
NEW Cookbook from Rick Rodgers, a Driscoll's Apron,
and a Driscoll's Flash Drive with all the recipes,
and a Coupon for berries worth $5.00
Retail value: priceless (hee hee)

Scroll to the end to see how you can win.

Back to the recipes.....

My favorite of the evening was the tartlet. And you're not going to believe this. There was goat cheese in the tartlet and I didn't even know it because you mix it with cream cheese. Even though I liked it, I won't use any goat cheese when I make this because I'll buy the wrong kind and it will taste like barn. I'll just go with cream cheese all the way. 'Cuz you know me and all things goat. Blech.

I would totally make all five dishes for Christmas except my sister-in-law is hosting and she doesn't eat pork. So that won't work. And I'm not sure the kids will eat fennel. I know they would like the tartlets and dessert.

I'll have to have a little dinner party so I can make this fabulous spread.

Chef Rick added one more side dish to the menu which was Mashed Sweet Potatoes. My friend Rachael is not a sweet potato fan and she told the chef she wanted to roll around in the potatoes.

I'm pretty sure that means she liked them. I know when my dogs roll around in stuff it means they are happier than happy. Not that Rachael is a dog or anything.

This isn't turning out like I hoped.

Moving on.....

Blackberry Cobbler Cocktail

Savory Cheese Tartlets wih Blackberries

Roasted Fennel

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast with Blackberry Sage Compote

Blackberry Pear Cobbler with Almond Granola Topping

The contest. I almost forgot.

Two ways to enter.

1) Leave a comment here. Tell me your favorite Christmas tradition.
2) Tweet this post. And leave a second comment that you tweeted. 

Thanks and good luck, Mom. I mean good luck everyone!

I will draw the winner on Friday, December 9th.

Now on to the Blackberry Recipes from Rick Rodgers and Driscoll's Berries:

Blackberry Cobbler
Serving Size: 1 cocktail
Number of Ingredients: 7

5 ripe blackberries, plus extra for garnish
10 ripe blueberries

1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup

1 1/2 oz. Bulldog Gin

1/2 oz. Crème de Cassis

Splash of Yellow Tail Bubbles (Champagne)

In a mixing glass, muddle 5 of the blackberries with the blueberries, lemon juice and simple syrup.

Add the Bulldog Gin and Crème de Cassis. Top with ice and shake vigorously.

Pour into a tall glass and top with the Yellow Tail Bubbles (Champagne). Stir from the bottom up.

Garnish with the remaining blackberries.

Savory Cheese Tartlets with Blackberries

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes plus chilling and cooling
Servings: 24 tartlets, 8 to 12 servings
Number of Ingredients: 15

5 oz. rindless goat cheese, at room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. honey, preferably full flavored, such as chestnut or thyme, warmed

Cream Cheese Dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature, plus more for pans, if needed
3 oz. cream cheese, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

Combine flour and salt in a food processor fitted with metal chopping blade and pulse to combine.  Add butter and cream cheese and pulse about 10 times, until mixture begins to clump together.  Gather up dough and shape into a thick disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and easy to handle (about 2 hours). 

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.  Have ready two 12-cup miniature muffin pans (each cup measuring 1 7/8 inches across the top and 7/8 inches deep), preferably nonstick.  If the pans are not nonstick, lightly butter them. 

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces.   Place one piece in each muffin cup.  Using fingers, press dough firmly and evenly up sides to make a pastry shell.  (A wooden tart tamper can help the job go quickly.)  Freeze 5 minutes.

Mash goat cheese and cream cheese together in a medium bowl until smooth.  Add egg, yolk, minced thyme, salt and pepper and whisk until combined.  Spoon equal amounts of filling into chilled pastry shells.

Bake tartlets until crust is golden brown and filling is puffed (about 25 minutes).  Let cool for 10 minutes in pans.  Remove tartlets from pans and transfer to a wire cake rack to cool completely.

Just before serving, lightly brush tops of tartlets with about 1 tablespoon of honey.  Arrange berries on top as desired.  Drizzle with the remaining honey.  Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and serve.
Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast with Blackberry-Sage Compote

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
Servings: 6
Number Ingredients: 17

Pork Roast:
1 (2 ½ to 3 lb.) boneless pork roast, excess fat trimmed
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp. minced fresh sage
1 tsp. coarse salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
14 to 16 slices (not paper-thin) pancetta, about 4 oz.

Blackberry-Sage Compote
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
½ tsp. finely chopped garlic
2/3 cup hearty red wine, such as Shiraz
2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 pkgs. (18 oz.) Driscoll’s Blackberries
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage
¼ tsp. coarse salt

1/8 tsp. crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch (optional)

Pork Roast:
Brush the pork all over with the oil. Mix the rosemary, sage, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and rub all over the pork.  Unroll each strip of pancetta – it will look like curved bacon.  Arrange half of the pancetta over the top of the roast.  Using kitchen twine, tie the pancetta in place crosswise, leaving the ends of the roast uncovered.  Turn the roast over (don’t worry if it doesn’t look neat).  Repeat with the remaining pancetta, trying the roast and tucking in the pancetta as needed.  (The pancetta can be prepared and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)  Let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Place the pork roast on a roasting rack in a metal roasting pan.  Bake, rotating the roast every 20 minutes or so for even browning, until the pancetta is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork reads 145ºF (about 1 1/2 hours).  If the pancetta is getting too brown, tent the roast with aluminum foil.  Transfer the roast to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.  Pour the fat out of the roasting pan and reserve the pan.

Blackberry-Sage Compote:
While the pork is roasting, make the compote.  Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed small skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden (about 3 minutes).  Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook until the liquid is reduced to about 3 Tbsp. (about 7 minutes).

Add the blackberries, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, sage, salt and hot red pepper and cook over high heat, stirring often, until the berry juice has big bubbles (about 7 minutes).  The compote should have some whole berries. Set aside.

Heat the roasting pan over high heat until sizzling.  Add the compote and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits in the pan with a wooden spatula or spoon.  If the compote seems thin, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 Tbsp. water, stir into the boiling compote, and cook just until lightly thickened, about 15 seconds.  Adjust the seasoning with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt and hot red pepper.  Transfer to a serving bowl.

Snip off and discard the string from the roast.  Carve crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.  Serve hot, with the warm compote.

Roasted Fennel Salad with Blackberries 

Number of Ingredients: 9

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
3 bulbs (12-14 oz. each) fennel
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg. (6 oz. or 1 ½ cups) Driscoll’s Blackberries
2 oz. Gorgonzola or Danish Blue crumbles
6 fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

Honey Balsamic Dressing:
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Roasted Fennel:
Preheat Oven to 425°F.  Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet.

Quarter Each fennel bulb, then cut lengthwise into ¼ to ½ inch-thick slices, keeping the slices as intact as possible.  Arrange fennel on baking sheet, overlapping as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Roast, without turning fennel over, until lightly browned around the edges and just tender (about 20 minutes).  Let cool. 

Whisk together vinegar, honey, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Gradually whisk in oil until blended.

To Assemble:
Add cooled fennel to bowl with dressing and toss gently. Gently fold in blackberries.  Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. 

Divide salad among 6 plates.  Top each with equal amounts Gorgonzola and rosemary sprig.  Serve at room temperature. 

Blackberry Pear Cobbler with Almond Granola Topping

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
Servings: 8
Number of Ingredients: 12

Granola Topping:
Vegetable oil for the baking dish
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup natural sliced almonds
½ cup honey, such as orange blossom
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
½ tsp. ground cinnamon

8 firm-ripe Bartlett pears, (about 4 lb.), peeled, cored and cut into 1 in. chunks
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut up, plus more for the baking dish
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 pkg. (6oz) Driscoll’s Blackberries

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Granola Topping:
Preheat Oven to 350ºF.  Lightly oil a 12 by 19 inch baking dish.

Mix the oats and almonds together in the baking dish.  Whisk the honey, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon together in a small bowl.  Pour over the oat mixture and mix well.  Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until deep golden brown and fragrant (about 30 minutes).  Transfer to a bowl and let cool.  The topping will be crisp when cooled.  (The topping can be stored at room temperature in a covered container for up to 3 days.)

Lightly butter the same baking dish.  Toss the pears, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Transfer to the baking pan.  Bake, stirring occasionally, until the pears are juicy (about 30 minutes).

Dissolve the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a large bowl.  Add the berries and toss gently to coat.  Remove the baking dish from the oven.  Add the berries and dissolved cornstarch and mix gently.  Return to the oven and continue baking until the blackberries are warm and softened (about 20 minutes).  Sprinkle with granola topping and bake for 5 minutes to heat the topping. 

Let cool for 5 minutes.  Spoon into bowls, top with ice cream and serve. 

Don't forget to leave a comment!!!


  1. This vote is for my dad. He's having technical difficulties.

  2. I can't wait to get cooking....your father is going to drive me crazy unless I make something quick!

  3. Mmmm the blackberry pear cobbler and the pork recipe look deeeeeelish! I LOVE blackberries! Used to grow them and make blackberry pie (circa 1998 b.c. - "before children"). Favorite Xmas tradition? To have Papa be Santa on Christmas morning and pass out presents.

  4. Uh, did I win?!? I think we should have all these (including the pork) at Christmas.


Thanks for your feedback!