Featured Food: Thimble Berries
Sweet and Tart Spring Dessert Crepes
Thimble berry jam
A basket of fresh organic strawberries
Cook crepes, spread a layer of thimble berry jam on the crepe (if there are no thimble berries in your neck of the woods, you can substitute a low-sugar, tart, raspberry jam), spoon in a thick layer of the sweet creamy filling, apply a generous layer of fresh, sliced, organic strawberries, fold crepe over and secure with a toothpick (if necessary). Serve and enjoy.
Makes approximately 6 delicious dessert crepes.
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup club soda
3 tablespoons melted butter, plus 3 tablespoons for cooking the crepes
In a mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Add the remaining ingredients, except the melted butter, into the center of the well and whisk together until just combined. The mixture should be like VERY loose pancake batter. If the mixture is a little thick, whisk in a little more milk. Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes before using.
*Tip: Crepe batter can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated.
Melt about a 1/2 teaspoon of butter in a small nonstick sauté pan. The butter should coat the bottom of the pan, if there is a lot of excess, wipe it out with a paper towel. Keep the paper towel handy in case you need it again (you will).
Put the pan over medium heat. Fill a 2-ounce ladle, almost to the top, with batter and pour it into the preheated pan, tipping and rolling the pan, as you ladle the batter, to evenly cover the bottom. This will take a little practice, even when you are an experienced crepe maker the first couple always get wasted. Accept it and move on.
When the edges of the crepe begin to pull away from the edges of the pan and the bottom begins to brown a little, turn the crepe over and cook it for about 1 minute on the other side. Remove the crepe from the pan to a plate and let cool. Stack the crepes as they are cooked between parchment paper squares. Repeat this process, until all the batter is used, wiping the pan with your paper towel or melting a little more butter to the pan, as needed.
by Rachel Crockett
Because thimble berries are a dry fruit, the jam tends to have an intense, tangy flavor, like a raspberry multiplied. To compliment this, we have the fresh, juicy strawberries, and a sweet cream filling.
1 cup whole ricotta cheese
2 tbsp Xylitol or sugar or other sweetener
½ tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
Combine ricotta cheese, sweetener, almond extract, and a pinch of salt, and mix thoroughly in a bowl. If you want something lighter, you can substitute Greek yogurt with vanilla. If you want a more complex, fruity flavor, try adding firm, young, mashed bananas to your yogurt or ricotta. Refrigerate until ready to use.
by Nadja Masura
Thimble Berry Jam
Prepare jars. Keep in hot water with lids.
Collect 2 cups of thimbleberries (may be frozen ahead of time)
Wash and drain (or defrost)
Place in small sauce pan with 1 cup sugar
Add 1/8 cup lemon juice.
Add 1 teaspoon Pectin power and 1 teaspoon calcium water
*(see instructions below)
Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
Pour into drained jars and seal.
(makes 2-3 pints)
* I use Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Calcium powder dissolved in water and activates the Pectin powder.
by Diane Masura