Kale + Blackberry + Beet + Almond Milk Smoothies

Kale + Blackberry + Beet + Almond Milk Smoothies

What’s in your morning routine?  I make my bed, splash my face with cold water, drink a giant glass of lemon water, and try to forget about the giant bag of dark chocolate chips I’ve been meaning (and failing) to hide from myself.  I try my best to start things off well, with some clarity and conscious eating… that’s because it’s easy to reason with my relaxed morning brain.  By the time dinner rolls around it’s nearly impossible to talk my brain out of popcorn, wine, and handfuls of chocolate chips.  

Continue reading Kale + Blackberry + Beet + Almond Milk Smoothies at Joy the Baker.

Fried Breakfast Polenta with Blackberry Meyer Lemon Jam

Fried Breakfast Polenta

Pop Quiz:

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of you life what would it be: sweet and creamy breakfast polenta with milk or (oh my gracious heavens) sweet and creamy fried polenta bars with blackberry meyer lemon jam?

No contest.  Fried polenta with blackberry jam every day, all day.  Let’s do this.

Remember yesterday I told you about Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta?  That was just a dirty trick to make you have enough leftover polenta to make the real deal:  fried polenta.

A quick heads up:  this recipe involves butter and results in an almost French Toast-ish, outta this world breakfast.  If you’re not ready for that… completely understandable… you might want to sit this one out.   I won’t judge.

Fried Breakfast Polenta

Fried Breakfast Polenta

Fried Breakfast Polenta

(Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!)

Print this Recipe!

So here’s what you’re gonna do:

1.  Whip up a batch of Vanilla Brown Sugar Polenta.

2.  Have some for breakfast, rub it on your face… do whatever you wanna do with most of it, but just most of it.  Continue to simmer the polenta that you aren’t going to serve for breakfast.  This will help more water evaporate from the polenta and help your bars better stick together when they’re cold, sliced and ready for the skillet.  I had about 2 cups of cooked, creamy polenta left over after breakfast.

3.  Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap.  If you’re working with more polenta, you might want to use two loaf pans.

4.  Spread the cooled polenta into the lined loaf pan and cover by folding over the overhanging flaps of plastic wrap.

5.  Place in the fridge to cool and set overnight.

6.  Sleep.  Yawn.  Wake up smiling, thinking about fried polenta.

7. Remove the chilled plastic wrapped polenta from the loaf pan.  Unwrap.  You should have a thin (about 1 inch tall) brick of cold polenta.

8.  Use a big ol’ knife to cut the polenta into bars or squares… whatever you like.

9.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and a splash of vegetable (or grapeseed) oil in a skillet over medium heat.

10.  Place 1/2 cup all-purpose flour in a bowl.

11.  Dip the cold polenta bars in the flour, coating all sides.

12.  Placed dredged polenta in hot, buttered skillet.  I managed about 6 or 8 bars at a time in my skillet.

Fried Breakfast Polenta

13.  Flip and turn the bars as they begin to brown.

14.  Brown all sides.  Sometimes that means turning the polenta bars on their heads to cook.

15.  Once cooked, remove from hot pan onto an oven proof plate.  Place in a very low (tops 200 degrees F) oven to stay warm while you cook the rest of the polenta.

16.  Serve with maple syrup, fancy jam or powdered sugar.

Fried Breakfast Polenta

Blackberry Jam Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I come from a food lovin’ family, so nearly all of the treats I bake are an effort to rekindle a fond memory from my past.  My sister and I are so fixated on food, that all of our family vacations growing up are remembered soley for the food we consumed.  About 15 years ago, we took a 2 week long family trip to Washington DC.  It was a big deal for our middle class family, and my parents even took us out of school for the two week period with the gaurantee that we would write a full report on our educational trip upon our return.  After a tour of countless museums and battlefields, the only two things my sister and I remeber are- Uno Pizza and Cheetos.

Criminal isn’t it?  We ate at an Uno Pizza somewhere along the trip.  It was delicious.  Obviously.  And one day in DC, my parents let us buy a bag of Cheetos (we didn’t get to eat a lot of junk food) and my sister and I followed my parents around the city sharing our Cheetos with little brown birds on the street.  My sister and I now call those little brown city birds Cheetos…. still.  The school report, was probably a glowing review of Uno’s deep dish pizza crust.  Oh my.

What does all of this have to do with Blackberry Jam Cake?  Have patience and continue reading.

This Blackberry Jam Cake takes me back to my Aunt DeeDee’s kitchen.  Have I told you about my aunt?  She is only one of the most glorious people to grace this earth.  She was a renegade baker, and nothing could stop her.  See, she was blinded by a brain tumor in her 30’s, but she still knew her way around the kitchen and would create unbelievably good food.

DeeDee had a cake she called Arabic Spice Cake.  The recipe has since been lost, but this cake with it’s fragrant spice, crunchy nuts and delicate sweetness takes me back to her kitchen.

The cake has a cup of seedless blackberry jam, walnuts and golden raisins, and is spiced with allspice, cloves and cinnamon.  It’s  moist, warm, inviting, and feels like a hug from my Aunt DeeDee.  Truly priceless.

Also- I’m working my my next podcast this weekend, so stay tuned!!

Blackberry Jam Cake

adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

Print this Recipe!

3 cups plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

5 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup seedless blackberry jam

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Cake

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, line bottom with parchment or waxed paper, and butter paper.

Sift together 3 cups flour and salt into a bowl.

Beat together butter, sugar, allspice, cloves and cinnamon in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs and beat until well combined.

Stir together buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl.  Working in 3 batches, alternately add flour and buttermilk mixtures to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.  Add jam and beat until well combined.  Toss together raisins and nuts with remaining 1 Tablespoon of flour in a bowl, then add to batter and stir until well combined.

Pour batter into baking pan.  Bake until wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes.  Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert cake onto rack, remove paper and cool completely.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 ounces egg whites

8 ounces granulated sugar

12 ounces unsalted butter, softened

pinch of salt

Place a medium sized pan with about 3 inches of water over medium heat.  Place egg whites and salt in a medium sized bowl to create a double boiler over the simmering water.

Once water is simmering, place bowl of egg whites over water, making sure that simmering water does not touch the bottom of the egg white bowl.  Whisk egg whites and gradually add 8 ounces of sugar.

Whisk egg whites and sugar over double boiler, whisking constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved, about 5-8 minutes.

Remove egg white bowl from double boiler and pour egg white and sugar mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer.  With the whisk attachment, whisk egg white and sugar on medium speed for about 4 minutes.

While the eggs are whisking, cut softened butter into large chunks, about 8 chunks per stick of butter.  When egg white mixture has body and is slightly cooked, stop the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment.  With the mixer on medium speed, add butter one chunk at a time, letting each chunk of butter incorporate into the egg white mixture for about 20 seconds.

Continue to slowly add the butter chunks, stopping the mixer to scrape down the bowl as necessary.

As you are adding the last chunks of butter, the buttercream will start to look curdled.  Don’t worry, just keep the mixer going and add the remaining butter, it will all come together, and the curdled look will disappear.

To Assemble Cake

Place cake on large cake plate, or cake board.  Add a thin layer of blackberry jam on top of the cake if desired, this step is optional.  Dollop swiss meringue buttercream atop cake, and smooth.  I left the sides of the cake bare to show off the dripping blackberry jam and the gorgeous brown color of the cake.

Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Sauce

Update: I just got a lovely note from Barbara Duke, one of the authors of Panache at Rose Hill.  Here’s what she has to say about this lovely pie!

Hi Joy:
I’m Evan’s Mimi.  Just a little info about the buttermilk pie.  When our great, great grandmothers were traveling in those covered wagons, they had precious few ingredients for their recipes.  Buttermilk, meal, flour and eggs were staples.  Many creations came from those ingredients, including the buttermilk pie.  This particular recipe originated from the former owner of Rose Hill (where our restaurant was located).  His name was Mose Smith.  He won our local state fair cooking contest for his buttermilk pie.  When my partner and I bought the property and turned the Southern planter’s home into a restaurant, we altered the pie recipe somewhat (it had too much sugar in it), and added the blackberry sauce.  It became our signature dessert.  We have served that pie to guests from England, Japan, and everywhere in the USA to those  who have dined at our restaurant.  We had many tour groups from all over the world.  We feel food does not have to be complicated to be good, and of course all the love we put into it didn’t hurt.

I just woke up from one of those sloppy weekend naps. It was the kind of nap that left my face barely recognizable from marks from the pillow case folds. It was the kind of nap that might very well have taken place in the back seat of my car, at 173 degrees F. I feel like, lying here in my bedroom on this summer afternoon I may have just baked my brain. I can’t blog bout that, that’s not good for you.

I just took the kind of nap that makes me wish I could take it all back. It now feels like a mistake. I might have just felt better if I stood in the road and waited for Mac truck to hit me. I just took the kind of tragic, unforgiving nap that can only be healed with creamy coffee and buttermilk pie with warm blackberry sauce.

Keep reading, I have a story to tell you about this pie.

I met this girl. Ok, maybe ‘met’ is a strong work. She’s in Alabama, I’m in California. We’re blog buddies. Her name is Evan and she might be one of the most darling people of the face of the planet. Evan has a new blog called Buttercakes by Evan. If you love me at all you’ll hop on over there right now and show Evan some love.

Evan was recently kind enough to send me her grandmothers cookbook Panache at Rose Hill. See, Evan’s grandmother and her business partner bought a southern planters home of 25 acres of land. With a few loans, help from husbands, and a lot of elbow grease, they transformed the home into a beautiful restaurant and event site. The cookbook is an account of that journey, a brief history of the land and the house, and an absolutely amazing Southern cookbook.

I’m so honored to have this book. Thank you so much Evan.

I knew I had to try the Buttermilk Pie with Warm Blackberry Sauce. It sounded like the perfect southern treat. The pie bakes up pale and sweet, with just a hint of tang from the buttermilk. I served mine chilled with warm blackberry sauce. It’s gorgeous. Right now, it’s just the thing to cure my nap hangover.

Thank you Evan. Thank you bunches!

Buttermilk Pie with Warm Blackberry Sauce

Print this Recipe!

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 stick melted butter, slightly cooled.

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons pur vanilla extrct

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Beat eggs slightly. Mix sugar and flour well and add to the eggs. Mix until creamy. Add melted butter, mixing well. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (my pie took about 1 hour and 15 minutes) until the custard sets. Tip: the custard will still jiggle a bit in the oven even when it’s set. Just make sure that the middle does not jiggle a lot more than the sides. That means it needs more time.

Blackberry Sauce

1/2 cup seedless blackberry preserves

1 Tablespoon Chamborde liqueur, also consider orange liqueur or a bit of Triple Sec

Pour the preserves in a saucepan and arm on medium heat, stirring constantly with wire whip until smooth. Remove from heat and add liqueur. Let cool slightly and drizzle over pie.

Pie Dough

2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk, cold

Cut butter into 1 inch pieces and place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

Sift together the flour and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Sifting eliminates lumps and aerates the mixture, making the dough tender and lighter. Add the partially frozen butter and the salt. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the butter is reduced to the size of broken walnut meats. Stop the machine and by hand pinch flat any large pieces of butter that remain.

Turn the mixer on low speed and add the buttermilk all at once. Mix until the dough comes together, about 15 seconds. The dough should be tacky, but not sticky, and still rather shaggy.

Remove the dough from the bowl and quickly form into a rough disk. Wrap in plastic. Try not to overowrk the dough. Chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out. At this point the dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. For freezing roll the dough into sheets and wrap them in airtight plastic film first.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

I’ve been struggling for the past few hours with what to tell you in conjunction with these Blackberry Pie Bars.

I thought maybe we could talk about how I’m still totally dragging my feet about going to my ten year high school reunion.  No… that’s been done.  Boring.

Maybe we could talk about how I sat around a campfire with Andrea Zuckerman… a character from that show Beverly Hills 90210, but that was actually just a dream I had last night.  Not real.

We could chat about the weather?  Seen any good movies lately?

No?  Ok… let’s not fight this.

Let’s get on to the bars.  They’re good.  Really good.  Good enough to not need a silly introduction.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

Think of these bars as your escape from the land of pie baking.  Maybe you don’t need an escape, but let’s be honest… putting together a pie crust can be a pain in the rear sometimes.  Problem solved.  Just press this crust into the bottom of a pan, top it with creamy fruit filling, sprinkle it with more crust bits and you’re in business.

The result is pure summer blackberry goodness.  The recipe includes directions for either frozen or fresh fruit.  If you’re using frozen berries, just be sure to defrost the berries and drain the excess juices.  What about raspberries or blueberries instead of blackberries?  Those would probably work too!  Just stay away from strawberries.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar

adapted from The Pastry Queen

Print this Recipe!

Crust and Topping

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes

zest of two lemons

Blackberry Filling

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

2  (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained

(You can also use 6 cups of fresh blackberries, or 1 (16-ounce) package frozen blackberries and 3 cups of fresh blackberries)

To make the crust and topping-

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch backing pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside.  Zest two lemons.  Measure out the sugar onto a clean work surface.  Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with a bench scraper or the back of a spoon.  Rubbing the zest into the sugar will release oils from the zest and create a lemon scented sugar.

Combine lemon sugar, flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment.  Beat the ingredients on medium speed until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crust mixture to use as the topping.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes until it is golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling-

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt.  Gently fold in the blackberries.  Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust.  You may have to distribute the blackberries evenly around.

Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling.  Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is lightly browned.  Cool for 1 hour before slicing.

**If you’re using frozen berries, be sure to defrost and drain the excess liquid.  Place the frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator overnight.  They’re defrosted and ready for bar baking!

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Peach Bread Pudding with toasted pecans

Bread pudding exists in the sweet space between breakfast and dessert.  With all of the milk in the recipe, bread pudding feels like eating the most ridiculously rich breakfast cereal.  I suppose for most people, it’s a bonafide dessert.  Perhaps I’m just trying to find as many ways as possible to eat dessert for breakfast.

I’ll admit, I only recently warmed up to bread pudding.  My Dad absolutely loves the stuff, so I was inspired to create my own.  I think I had this conception that bread pudding was simply soggy bread mixed with cinnamon, milk and raisins.  Not so!  This dish can be made with as many combinations as you can dream up.  With this recipe, I wrestled my preconceived notions of bread pudding to the ground.  I decided to combine bread pudding and cobbler.  I know… pretty awesome!   Now we’re getting into the realm of respectable breakfasts… or desserts.

Blackberry Peach Bread Pudding combines the delicious fruit I love in cobblers, with loads of the bready goodness that I crave everyday of my life.  Throw in some Grand Marnier and toasted pecans, and it’s pure heaven!

This is a great dessert because you can very easily throw it together in a pan, wrap it up and let it sit in the fridge over night to soak.  The next morning, pop the whole tray in the oven, and delicious cobbler bread pudding is ready to eat (after proper cooling time) in about two hours.

Blackberry Peach Bread Pudding with Toasted Pecans

Print this Recipe!

1 1/2 – 2 loaves stale French baguettes

3 eggs

3 cups whole milk

1 cup half and half

1/3 cup butter

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier

2 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen

1 cup blackberries, fresh

3/4 cup pecan halves

dash of cinnamon

Begin by tearing the stale french bread into bite sized pieces.  This can be done by hand, because pieces do not have to look perfect, just need to be roughly the same size.  Place all of the bread pieces into a 9×13-inch baking pan and top with peaches and berries.  Using your hands, toss the fruit into the bread pieces so they are evenly distributed through the pan.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter and 3 cups milk.  Heat just until butter melts, but milk should not boil.

While milk and butter are heating, whisk together eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla extract and Grand Marnier.  Slowly whisk the warmed milk and butter mixture into the eggs and half and half mixture.  Pour the entire mixture on top of the bread pieces and fruit.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove the plastic wrap from the bread pudding, sprinkle with cinnamon  and place in the oven for 45-55 minutes.  The bread pudding will still wiggle when shaken, but will set during the cooling process.   Let set for at least 30 minutes, once removed from the oven.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

I love this served warm with vanilla ice cream!

Blackberry Apricot Sunflower Oatmeal

Blackberry Apricot Sunflower Oatmeal

You don’t need me to tell you how to make oatmeal.  You might need me to tell you how to make Peanut Butter Bacon Pancakes, and tell you not to drink rum from a yard-long glass through the streets of Las Vegas.  Oatmeal though… I’m sure you can handle that on your own.

Maybe I just need to remind myself how to make oatmeal.  Maybe I just need to remind myself to make oatmeal at all… and eat it… and call it breakfast.   Staring at the computer first thing in the morning, thoughtlessly burning my mouth on hot coffee does not a breakfast make.

I thought it was possible that if I needed a reminder, you might need a reminder too.  Let’s breakfast!  Let’s make breakfast as healthful and beautiful as we can.  It’s a big week.  We need this.

Blackberry Apricot Sunflower Oatmeal

All you’ll need for this breakfast situation is a good rummaging of the cupboards.  I found some old-fashioned oats, roasted sunflower seeds, candied ginger, and dried apricots.

Blackberry Apricot Sunflower Oatmeal

Warm oatmeal topping time.

Realtalk:  This bowl and topping piles are on a blackened cookie sheet on my desk.  Blog shooting and breakfast eating together.

Blackberry Apricot Sunflower Oatmeal

Maybe add a touch more brown sugar than you would on a normal day.  Mondays are hard.

Blackberry Apricot Sunflower Oatmeal

Almond milk for added creamy comfort.

You may not need this recipe for creamy sweet oatmeal.  You’re got your hot coffee and you’re good to go.  It’s possible that we all need a bit of extra comfort, healthy fuel, and morning inspiration…. this is that.

I hope your Monday is wonderful.  I hope your shoes are cute and comfortable, and your day is oat-filled and perfectly caffeinated.

Blackberry Apricot Sunflower Oatmeal

makes 1 serving

Print this Recipe!

1 cup water

pinch of salt

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup almond milk

For topping:  brown sugar, fresh blackberries, dried apricots, roasted and salted sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds

Bring water to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Add a pinch of salt.   Add the oats and stir until the oats are soft and have absorbed the liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Spoon into a bowl, top with almond milk, as much brown sugar as you’d like, a handful of fresh blackberries, coarsely chopped dried apricots, sunflower seeds, and a sprinkling of ground flax seeds.  Add almond milk and serve immediately.  

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

Now that’s a pie.

Warm lemony berry filling that spills when sliced.   A crisp and flaky sugar topped crust.  Imperfect crust  crimping and slightly burned edges.

Let me tell you a few secrets about pies.  They’re a lot of work.  They’re never perfect.  Sometimes they burn.  Sometimes they bubble.  And somehow a slightly warm, homemade pie is always always always perfect, despite the burned bits and the spilled guts.

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

Another secret:  I licked these utensils.  Yea.. that happened.

Now… it’s a holiday weekend, right?  Are you going to parties?  Will there be barbecues?  Are you wearing a bathing suit?  Can I come?

Pie for your parties?  You should.  I know.  I know.. I just told you this pie was a lot of work.  What kind of jerk am I?  I think you’re up for the task.  If you aren’t feeling brave enough for pie baking this weekend, here are a few other festive treats you might want to share.  Yea… I’m giving you an easy way out.

Blackberry Pie Bars.

Strawberry Blackberry Shortcakes.

Strawberry Coffee Cake

Raspberry Almond Cupcakes


Blueberry Blackberry Pie

Once you tackle the pie crust (which might seem a little daunting, but I totally believe in you) berry pies are pretty dang easy.  Combine fresh berries with flour, sugar and lemon zest.  You might also want to add some crushed graham crackers of plain bread crumbs to the pie shell to help soak up the juices… top crust… egg wash… you’re golden!

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

This pie is everything you’d want it to be.  Big, bursting cooked berries lightly sweetened with the slightest brightness of lemon.  It’s crazy effing delicious.  I love it for breakfast with a cup of milky tea.  Now you know.

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

At least once this summer you should make a pie.  Promise?

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

And if you want to bring me a slice of that pie after you make it.. well heck, just invite me over.  I’m friendly.

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

adapted from Baking: from my home to yours

makes one 9-inch double crusted pie

Print this Recipe!

2 pints fresh blueberries

1 pint fresh blackberries

1 cup sugar, plus more for dusting the top crust

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

generous pinch of salt

zest of 1/2 a lemon

juice from 1/2 a lemon, or more to taste

1/4 cup dry plain bread crumbs or finely crumbled graham crackers

1 large egg beaten with a splash of water for the egg wash

Buttermilk Pie Crust

Start off by making the Buttermilk Pie Crust.  While the dough is resting in the fridge, make the berry pie filling.

To make the filling put the rinsed berries into a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, salt, zest and juice.  Let sit for five minutes.  Taste the filling and add more lemon if necessary.

Remove the chilled pie crust from the fridge and roll out on a well floured work surface.  Drape one rolled out dough into the pie plate and trim, leaving about 1/2-inch of excess dough overhang.

Sprinkle bread crumbs or crumbled graham crackers into the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.  Scoop in the fruit mixture and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.  Moisten the edges of the pie dough with egg wash.

Drape the other rolled out pie dough over the pie.  Trim to a 1/2-inch over hang.  The egg wash will help the two stick together.  Tuck the two pie crusts under  a bit so the dough is flush with the edge of the pie plate.  Crimp with your fingers or a fork to seal.  Cut four vent holes into the top of the pie crust.

Place pie in the fridge while oven preheats.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place a cookie sheet on the lowest shelf to catch any bubble over.

Coat the top and sides of the pie with egg wash.  Sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes then reduce the oven to 375 degrees F and bake pie for another 30 minutes or until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the slits.  If the pie seems to be browning too quickly, make a loose foil tent for the pie while it bakes.

Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool and settle for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Blueberry Blackberry Pie

Lavender Blackberry Scones

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My mom isn’t afraid of spiders.  I am deathly, unreasonably, irrationally afraid of spiders.  My Mom is the only one that will walk me down the spider-ridden stairs to my car when I stop by for family dinner.  Ok… to be fair, my dad will walk me down the stairs too, but it took a lot of irrational screaming about spiders to make him understand my crazy brain.

I figure I’ll have to get over my fear of spiders before I become a mom myself.  Is that normal?  Does a fear of spiders dissipate during pregnancy or will I constantly be calling my mom every time I’m about to vacuum a spider (not that I’ve actually ever done that) (sorry spiders).

Because my mom saves me from spiders well into my thirty plus years on this planet, she has earned warm, lavender-scented scones.  She’s actually earned so much more… but scones will have to do for now.

Spiders to scones.  Yea… we just did that.

blackberry lavender scones

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Tossing cold butter into flour might be one of my favorite past times.  Breaking butter down into flour and sugar is a baking meditation.  Adding fragrant dried lavender just adds to the zen moment.

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Sometimes food is best color coordinated.  I like pale lavender paired with deep purple blackberries.

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Some berries are sliced in two.  Some berries are left whole.

The idea is to get a big heaping bite of warm berry in almost every bite of scone.

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Oh man… can I please write an entire book about biscuits and scones?

Please say yes.

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Scone rounds are brushed with a bit of beaten egg and sprinkled generously with sugar.  The idea is to create a lightly browned slightly crisp scone top.

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Baked!

I usually insist on eating these just as soon as they come out of the oven.  With extra butter and blackberry jam?  Heck yes.  Be like me.

mother's day inspired

image credit: Paola Parsons

If you’re not going to eat them right from the oven, maybe you want to make them extra pretty!  Erica from HonestlyYUM made this precious tiered serving stand.  That DIY is coming your way tomorrow!

These scones are tender, flakey, not too sweet, but studded with sweet summer berries and fragrant lavender.  They’re more on the flakey side, more flakey than dense which is how I prefer is my scones.  Less dense?  Maybe we can have two instead of one!  That’s smarts.  I hope you love them.  I hope your mama loves them too.  Spiders… no!

Lavender Blackberry Scones

makes 10 to 12 scones

Print this Recipe!

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon dried lavender

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup cold buttermilk

1 cup fresh blackberries(you can used thawed and drained berries from the freezer although the scones will have a more purple color)

1 beaten egg and granulated sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, lavender, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in butter (using your fingers or a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Work the butter into the dry ingredients until some of the butter flakes are the size of peas and some are the size of oat flakes.    In another bowl, combine egg and buttermilk and beat lightly with a fork.  Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.  Fold in the blackberries.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times.  Roll or pat out into a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into 2-inch rounds using a round cutter or cut into 2×2-inch squares.  Reshape and roll dough to create more scones with excess scraps.    Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar.   Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Serve warm.  Scones are best the day they’re made, and though they can be frozen and lightly reheated in the oven if you need a future treat.

Blackberry Granita with Whipped Cream

Blackberry Granita

Let me lay out some facts for you:

My bed has an electric blanket on it this winter.  My fears of spontaneous combustion are usurped by my complete inability to actually get out of my warm bed.

Yes… I’m totally writing this from bed.  Try and stop me.  This cozy just won’t quit.

I have exactly zero interest in turning on my oven for the next week… mostly because my oven isn’t in arms length of my bed.  I really don’t want to get out of bed.

Yes… I’m talking a lot about my bed right now.  Maybe I’m obsessed.  Maybe this is unhealthy.

But!  There is one reason I’m getting out of bed tomorrow.  Vacation.  Holy hell!  I’m going on vacation!  I’m going to a gorgeous spa/ bed and breakfast situation in San Luis Obispo… all by myself.  There’s a bathtub.  Not just any bathtub… but a soaking tub… next to a fireplace.  Oh.  My.  God.  I only plan on leaving that soaking tub in an extreme prune state.

If you’re in San Luis Obispo and you think you can lure me out of my soaking tub… we should totally have lunch!

Before all the soaking begins… here’s a deep purple Blackberry Granita.  I suggest eating in in bed, under the covers, while watching your third Netflix romantic comedy.  Don’t worry.  No judgements.  This granita just tastes better that way.

Blackberry Granita

Blackberry Granita

This recipe was inspired by two things:  the need to put a stop to my Christmas cookie binge, and my desire to have a dessert without actually having to turn my oven on.

The result is surprisingly comforting.  Sweet blackberry ice combined with lightly sweetened soft whipped cream.  It’s uncomplicated, refreshing and simply delicious.

Blackberry Granita

Blackberry Granita with Whipped Cream

Print this Recipe!

3 cups water

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 heaping cups frozen blackberries (un-thawed)

juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons vodka (optional)

whipped cream (sweetened as much as you like)

In a medium saucepan heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Add frozen blackberries and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat.  Stir to break blackberries up a bit as they cook.

Once blackberries are broken and cooked, place half of the blackberry and liquid mixture in a blender.  Pulse and blend until a berries are broken down into a puree.  Place a fine mesh strainer over the pot containing the other half of liquid and berries, and strain the puree into the pan.  The end result is berry pieces, whole berries, blackberry liquid and the juice from the puree.

Add lime and vodka (is using).  The vodka helps the mixture not freeze so solid, but is not entirely necessary.

Place mixture into a 9×13-inch pan and place in freezer.  Set timer for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, scrape any ice crystals that have formed towards the center of the pan.  Set timer for another hour and again scrape the ice crystals towards the center of the pan.  Continue until all of the liquid has formed ice crystals.

Serve with soft whipped cream.  Yum!