Storefronts, sidewalks, street signs and aisles at the local markets are brimming with holiday gift ideas and sights and smells that Christmas brings. It’s simple to choose a gift from the shelf or to browse catalogs and have an item dropped to a friend’s front porch. Simple yes, personalized? No.
When I was a child, one of my favorite gift items each year, came from relatives who baked, canned and whipped up special favors to put under the tree on Christmas eve, to indulge in on Christmas morning and even through New Year’s Day. Today, I adore it when friends give me an item that I can serve at the New Year’s Eve party or set out for guests to munch on while enjoying New Year’s Game Day. This year it’s easier than ever to create delicious gifts for friends and family with Driscoll’s Made with Love gift ideas and recipes. You will find many delights to create on Holiday’s Made with Love.
Wrapping a quick bread or a pound cake and placing under the tree with a jar of blackberry or raspberry jam, or sauce is a decadent treat for the holidays. The bread itself is delicious and the jam or sauce can be used as a topping on pie, ice cream, shortcakes, or even pancakes and waffles on Christmas morning.
Since I find blackberries an exquisite treat, this year I am presenting a delightful blackberry sauce. Since a trip out the woods or backyard with a bucket isn’t an option this time of year, most people think blackberries are out of season in December, but that simply isn’t so. Driscoll’s offers exceptional berries year-round, so a trip to the produce section in your local market is all you need to have the delicious ingredients to create a personalized and special gift. Tip: I freeze blackberries in flats, I do not wash or pick out the leaves or stems, simply take the flat and place in freezer. When they are completely frozen, I carefully measure out 6 cups (frozen) and place in to a large zippy bag with the date clearly written on it, squeeze out air, and place in freezer again. If pie making is in my future…one zippy bag has the correct amount already measured out. Rinse and thaw.
- 1 1/2 cups Driscoll’s Blackberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- In medium pan cook blackberries and half of the water (1/4 cup), sugar and lemon juice on medium high for five minutes, giving it a stir now and then.
- Puree in blender or food process for approx. 30 seconds.
- If the sauce is too thick, add the remaining water and puree again, for about half the time, 15 seconds or so.
- Pour into strainer over bowl to strain out seeds for a smoother sauce.
- The sauce is delicious warm, especially over bread, ice cream or pie and can be stored in the refrigerator up to two weeks.
- For a thicker, chunky sauce use a potato masher instead of blender or food processor.
- You can add a bit of cinnamon or 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla for a bit of a flavor kick. Play around with the recipe…add and subtract subtle flavors to taste. Before you know it, you will have a recipe that is all your own
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