fruits

Blackberry Oatmeal Cake

Blackberries; one of the best known wild foods and the tastiest of all berries, in my opinion. These were picked in the yard this morning, and it seems we'll have a steady supply of them for a few weeks. The most common pairing of blackberries is with apples, but I've decided to keep it straight and make a Blackberry Oatmeal Cake, adapting an earlier recipe for Blueberry Banana Bread to serve the purpose. This Blackberry Oatmeal Cake is great for breakfast with coffee or as a dessert with maple syrup and/or a drizzle of cream (both highly recommended!). Enjoy!

Ingredients

• 2 cups blackberries • 2 cups whole white flour • 1 cup quick oats • 1 cup sugar • 1/2 cup neutral oil • 1/2 cup yogurt • 1/2 cup milk • 2 large eggs • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix the oatmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the yogurt, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Gently spoon in the blackberries. Pour batter into a buttered 8-9" round pan, top with oatmeal and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until set.

Maple Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool

No one seems to know for sure where this application of "fool" originates. It does, however, reference something ridiculously tasty. Fruit fools couldn't be easier to make, and they are a favorite dessert at the Inn. Serve yours with either ice cream (good for summer days) or fresh whipped cream. I tend to cook and eat recipes for the blog in the morning when the light is best for taking pictures, and I must say this goes very well with a French-pressed coffee. Thanks to the neighbor down the road for the heritage rhubarb! Enjoy!

Serves 6

Ingredients

• 3 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced • 1/2 cup maple syrup • pinch of salt • maple sugar (optional)

In a large saucepan bring the maple syrup to a boil. Add the strawberries, rhubarb and salt. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate a couple of hours.

Once the mixture is cold, layer strawberry-rhubarb with whipped or ice cream. Top with maple sugar.

Wild Strawberry Tarts

These little strawberries are ripening fast, and in a couple of weeks the boom will be over. Yesterday we went picking with the idea of making pies. Wild strawberries (also known as wood strawberries) grow in a bunch of different areas--on roadsides, along rocky river beds, in open fields and forests. If you take a walk this week, chances are you'll see some. But be warned, unless you find a really good patch, filling a whole jar can be seriously time consuming. I decided to make small individual tarts (3" in diameter) because picking enough for a normal pie would have taken us the entire week. I do prefer the wild strawberries to the giant-sized ones you find in the store, but that's a personal thing; their taste reminds me of the jams my grandmother used to make. Enjoy!

Yields 6 small tarts

Dough

• 1 cup flour • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter • 2 tablespoons sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Rub the flour with the butter until you get a coarse sandy texture. Then add just enough cold water to make a smooth dough, about 2 – 3 tablespoons. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cup wild strawberries • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes, turning the mixture with a spoon once or twice. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/8" thick. With a glass or cookie cutter, trim out 6 rounds that are larger than your molds. Line each buttered mold with the dough and pre-bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Trim out the edges of the dough and fill with the strawberry mixture. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.