I’m not sure, but I may have a teeny-tiny obsession with blackberries, raspberries, & blueberries. When I see them on sale at a good price, I scoop them up & toss them in the freezer for future baking expeditions. Growing up in Arizona, we didn’t have the luxury of wild berry patches like many of you, & I really don’t remember Mom baking with them either. I’m not sure why she didn’t, maybe it was being frugal, or perhaps it was living out in the country, the closest (not very close) grocery stores weren’t stocked with all of the freshest & finest items like we have access to today. I’m sounding old. Damn.
Now my sister-in-law Nancy, was born & raised in Washington state, where she was surrounded with berry patches. When she moved to Arizona, I’m pretty sure she missed that taste of home. She called me one day, to invite me to go berry picking at a little orchard just North of town. I still remember, the name was the Garden of Eden. In a way, it was the perfect name for this small family “you pick” farm, as it was set in just the right little micro climate for growing blackberries. Seriously, what a little miracle in such a hot climate!
Now you’re probably thinking this was a quaint little story about picking berries with my sister-in-law. Well, not so fast…whoa…slow your ponies! The truth of the matter was that it was a really fun day, & one I’ll always remember. The not so good part is that I got over-heated & sick right there in the berry patch! Yes, you get the picture, I’m always that person! Nancy was looking darling as ever, bucket in hand, & there I was looking “oh so classy” while losing my lunch! What can I say – I’m special in that “not-so-special-kind-of-way!” (One of these days I’ll tell you about the time I embarrassed my nephew in a similar way while he was trying to pick up “chicks” at the beach)! So there you have it, I turned out to be a berry fan in spite of myself! Recipe by: Designs by Jeanne R (adapted from B H & G)
3 cups milk (divided)
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites, beaten until stiff
1 cup blackberries (tossed with 1 tablespoon flour)
In a saucepan, stir together 2 of the cups of milk, & the cornmeal, sugar, & stir constantly until the mixture becomes very thick. Remove from the heat & add the additional 1 cup milk, butter, salt, baking powder, & allspice. Stir in about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolk to temper, then pour it back into the saucepan & stir. Carefully stir in the blackberries, taking care that they don’t break. Gently fold in the egg whites, and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake in a 325 F oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with additional butter, & sprinkle with a little more allspice, if desired.
If you’re looking for a sweet berry bread recipe, this is not that type of recipe… sour from the blackberries, a little touch of saltiness, & oh so delicious!