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A very berry season

Sun, 10 July, 2022

We all know that tomatoes are technically fruit, as are cucumbers. Fewer of us realise that so are peppers, but then the phrase ‘low hanging fruit’ helps our minds assimilate it. It works the other way too: rhubarb is really a vegetable, according to the botanical definition. If we eat the stem, leaves or root of the plant, it’s a vegetable. Fruit is a mature and ripened ovary of the plant – a definition that might put you off your apples and cherries. Oh, the mystifying world of plants!

Berries are a type of fruit, everyone knows that, but I bet you didn’t know that banana is a berry! That certainly flummoxed me. To compound matters, strawberries and raspberries aren’t berries but aggregate fruit. That’s because a berry is a small fruit developed from one flower stem containing multiple seeds in its flesh. Bananas – one, raspberries – nil on the berry scale. Mind boggles, doesn’t it?

Boring technicalities aside, I’ll accept common knowledge for the purpose of this article (I can hear everyone’s sighs of relief), rather than pretending to be a botanist. Berries! My favourite type of fruit apart from pomegranate (better not google it, lest it turns out that it’s a berry, or a vegetable {but of course I have, and guess what: it’s a berry!}).

So let’s have a run through my best berry recipes, since berries are now at their best.

You’d think they are only fit for sweets and desserts, but you can happily use them when cooking dinner. Blueberry duck for instance is highly recommended, or pork loin with blueberries. Plus the savoury implementation of redcurrant jelly and pomegranate molasses (now we established it falls within the berry category) is undisputed.

But obviously it’s cakes and desserts, primarily, that we want to put berries into.

Strawberries baked in cakes get a bit mushy and turn unappetising grey colour – although this strawberry crumble cake is one of my classics. And other types of berries – blue- and rasp- - can be used in the recipe happily. In desserts though strawberries are unsurpassed. Strawberry fool should be made at least a few times a summer. Strawberry ripple ice cream is fabulous, and so is strawberry fizz, a refreshing summery prosecco cocktail.

For summer cakes, there’s nothing like blueberry. Blueberry and lemon loaf cake, blueberry and cream sponge and mascarpone blueberry cake, to name the most popular recipes. And blueberry parfait for breakfast!

My top raspberry recipe is raspberry meringue roulade, and rightly so. But the raspberry and almond slice is worth recommending too, as is raspberry ripple no churn ice cream.

Don’t forget redcurrants! Tart and tangy, they make excellent cake, not just jelly.

And finally, you could put all the berries together in the buckwheat berry striped cake. Happy baking!

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About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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