Tag: Blackberries

Zarzamora Ardiente Cocktail

Zarzamora Ardiente cocktail

Zarzamora Ardiente means “fiery blackberry.” This cocktail contains blackberries and jalapeño, a little fresh lime juice, agave, and 2 ounces mezcal. It’s sweet/tart with some heat and a delightful smokiness from the mezcal.

I’ve never been a fan of mixed drinks, they tend to be very sweet. But it seems that in this new age of creativity on the part of bartenders, natural flavors and juices and less sugar are in style and the result is delicious and interesting cocktails.

I’ve had two mezcal cocktails that I’ve really loved. A local Mexican restaurant in Wilton CT, Cactus Rose has a Smoky Cosmo, made with Espadin mexcal (sic), orange liquor, blood orange puree, and fresh lime juice that is delightful. My very first mezcal cocktail was in LA at Broken Spanish, made of EL ZOCALO mezcal, passion fruit, Campari, yellow chartreuse habanero tincture, and Sal De Gusano (which is agave worm salt – see blow for more information). I was blown away and definitely hooked on this very special distilled beverage made from the agave plant.

What is Mezcal?

Tequila and mezcal are both made from agave, a succulent that thrives in hot, arid environments and requires very little water to survive. Tequila is made from only one type of agave, blue or weber, and must be grown in the state of Jalisco or in small parts of four other states. Mezcal (tradition spelling is mescal) is made from 28 or more varieties of agave from all over Mexico. Mezcal has a smokiness that, in my opinion is its real appeal, missing in tequila.

There are two types of mezcal: one made from 100% agave and a second made from a minimum 80% agave and a maximum of 20% other sugars.

Mezcal has three different aging categories: abacado, joven, or blanco  is clear, un-aged, and bottled immediately; it may have flavoring or coloring added. Resposado or madurado is aged in wood barrels for 2-11 months, and añejo is aged in wood barrels for a minimum of 12 months.

Zarzamora Ardiente the pour

The smoke flavor is the result of the processing. Once the plant is harvested, the leaves are removed with a machete revealing the heart of the agave, called the piña, which is taken to a palenque, a rustic distillery. The agave is then processed further, layered over the hot oven and covered with the outer leaves of the plant and roasted for several days. The caramelized agave is then crushed or pulverized, fermented, distilled and sometimes aged.

If you want to learn more about this excellent liquor, I suggest Finding Mezcal: A journey into the liquid soul of Mexico with 4o cocktails, by Ron Cooper. My daughter and her boyfriend gave me a copy for Christmas and it’s a fun read!

The Myth of the Worm

I remember hearing that tequila had a worm in the bottle when I was younger (YUK)! This is apparently a marketing gimmick. What is in the bottle is either the larvae of a caterpillar of a night butterfly or the agave snout weevil that naturally infest agave plants and the worm salt (Sal De Gusano) mentioned in the above cocktail from Broken Spanish.

The Cocktail

Zarzamora Ardiente ingredients

I’m trying a new mezcal today, Sombra mezcal artesanal made from 100% Maguey Espadin using the joven aging method. The resulting cocktail has a deep purple color and depending on how much you muddle the jalapeño, it can have quite a kick. I like it over ice garnished with a thin slice of jalapeno.

Zarzamora Ardiente juice and jalapeno

Cheers!

METHOD FOR MAKING ZARZAMORA ARDIENTE Cocktail

Place 2 slices jalapeño in a cocktail shaker and crush with a muddler or the handle of a thick wooden spoon. The more you crush the jalapeño more heat is released from the essential oils of the chili.

Zarzamora Ardiente muddled jalapeno

Add 6 blueberries and crush with the muddler.

Zarzamora Ardiente muddled blackberry

Add mezcal, lime juice, agave, and a handful of ice cubes. Cover and shake well.

Replace the cover with the strainer and pour into a rocks glass filled with 4 or 5 ice cubes. Top with a slice of jalapeño.

Zarzamora Ardiente cocktail

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Zarzamora Ardiente

Zarzamora Ardiente cocktail
Scale

Ingredients

5 blackberries
3 thin slices jalapeño, divided
2 ounces mezcal
1 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce agave
4 ice cubes

Instructions

Place 2 slices jalapeño in a cocktail shaker and crush with a muddler or the handle of a thick wooden spoon. The more you crush the jalapeño more heat is released from the essential oils of the chili.

Add 6 blueberries and crush with the muddler.

Add mezcal, lime juice, agave, and a handful of ice cubes. Cover and shake well.

Replace the cover with the strainer and pour into a rocks glass filled with 4 or 5 ice cubes. Top with a slice of jalapeño.

Triple Berry Crisp

Fruit Dessert History

Quick and easy Triple Berry Crisp is versatile. Not only is this a wonderful dessert but it also makes an excellent breakfast. The recipe calls for whole-wheat flour, whole oats, brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon, salt and melted butter for the topping and a bounty of fresh fruit – a great way to start the day!

Wash the fruit, drain a little, slide the berries into a deep dish pie pan, cover with the crisp topping and bake for a little over an hour, until the berries are bubbling. No sugar needed in the fruit unless you find it very tart and then I recommend  only a sprinkling of a tablespoon or two over the top of the fruit.

Fruit Dessert History

Make several batches of the topping at once, minus the butter, and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use 1 ½ cups of the topping mixed with 6 tablespoons melted butter and combine over 7 cups of fruit.

Fruit Dessert History

Here’s the video, but don’t miss out on the history of the crisp and similar type fruit desserts below!

FOOD HISTORY

Bird’s Nest Pudding, Brown Betty, Buckle, Cobbler, Crisp, Crumble, Grunt, Pandowdy, Slump, Sonker – all names and variations on “old-fashioned” English and Colonial American fruit desserts. If old-fashioned means out of date, I beg to differ. These recipes are wonderful ways to make use of abundant seasonal fresh fruit and are not just for dessert.

The common denominator is the recipes all use fruit, sweeteners, and usually have a crusty top. What varies is the type of fruit, though apples predominate, and the type of pastry that covers the top or on occasion is broken up and mixed into the fruit bottom.

Fruit Dessert History

What’s in a Name

Names are regional and somewhat like barbecue, each style is fiercely defended. The sonker has its own festival in Lowgap, North Carolina and proudly touts the abundance of fruit contained in a sonker compared to a stingy cobbler.

Bird’s nest pudding is made with sliced apples covered with a mixture of milk, eggs, and sugar, and  baked until set, a custard.

Brown betty has layers of fruit, crumbled pastry, fruit, and crumbled pastry. The crumbled pastry absorbs fruit juices and thickens into a pudding-like consistency.

Yellow cake is the base for a buckle with berries strewn across it and topped with crumbs, which is then cut into squares after baking – a precursor to a fruit bar, perhaps.

A cobbler is a deep dish dessert covered with thick biscuit dough, either a solid layer, or cut into rounds, resembling cobbles – hence the name – sprinkled with sugar, and baked until golden brown. The thickness of the biscuit overwhelms the dish and is why Sonker fans claim to have a better fruit to crust ratio.

Grunts and slumps are stovetop versions of a cobbler, which originated in England. The biscuits are steamed in a cast-iron skillet and resemble dumplings. The noise from the bubbling fruit “grunts” as it stews.

To make a pandowdy, the dough is sliced and pressed into the fruit during the last stage of baking. Early recipes referred to this step as dowdying.

Fruit History Dessert

My Favorite

So many to choose from, but for me it’s an easy choice, the crisp, or crumble as the British say, is my favorite. Fruit on the bottom covered with a layer of flour, brown sugar, whole oats and sometimes nuts that is traditionally rubbed with butter. The butter melts in the oven and “crisps” the top. I find, however, that melted butter added to the dry ingredients does a better job. The fat is totally incorporated into the crust and prevents a partially crisp, partially powdery top. Below is my recipe for Triple Berry Crisp.

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Triple Berry Crisp

berry crisp

Not only is this a wonderful dessert but it also makes an excellent breakfast. The recipe calls for whole-wheat flour, whole oats, brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon, salt and melted butter for the topping and a bounty of fresh fruit – a great way to start the day!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 nine-inch deep dish crisp 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

68 cups* mixed berries, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
6 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slide the berries into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.

*if you don’t have a deep dish pie plate, use 6 cups fruit.

Place the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade and finely grind the nuts.

Add the flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt; pulse just enough to combine the ingredients.

Pour the melted butter over the mixture and pulse until well incorporated.

Take handfuls of the crisp topping and cover the fruit. Place in preheated oven and bake for 80 minutes or until the fruit begins to bubble.

Remove and cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

Notes

Use frozen, unsweetened fruit in the off season.

Make up multiple batches of the topping, minus the butter, and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use 1 ½ cups of the topping mixed with 6 tablespoons melted butter and combine over 7 cups of fruit. It’s so quick and easy to make these crisps spur of the moment.

Keywords: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, fruit crisp, fruit crumble, crisp, crumble, oat topping, breakfast/brunch, dessert, baked good,