Blackberries are a hardy species that have adapted to nearly all climates and conditions around the globe. Through the centuries the deep hued berries have been utilized medicinally and as indigo and purple dye.
While the uses are many and have varied from culture to culture, their popularity today is due to the fact they are both commercially cultivated and grow wild in the great outdoors.
Late summer finds many folks elbow deep in blackberry brambles in woods, just off roads in the countryside and even in their own backyards. A ripe, juicy berry fresh off the vine is pure summertime bliss.
Here at Your Home, the month of August is devoted to the blackberry. Pies, crumbles, jams, wine, cordials and a tantalizing array of culinary delights.
James Beard Award winning pastry chef, Francois Payard has an exquisite beauty with blackberries and pears as cozy companions.
Blackberry Pear Soup
Makes 6 Servings
2 pints ripe blackberries
1 cup sugar
6 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and cored
6 mint sprigs
1) Make the soup: Combine the blackberries, sugar, and 2 cups water in a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears upright. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
2) Transfer the berry mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve back into the saucepan. Trim the bottoms of the pears so they can stand upright. Add the pears to the berry mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the pears are tender when pierced with a fork. (If the pears are not perfectly ripe, they will take longer to cook.) Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
3) Transfer the pears and soup to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
4) Serve the soup: Place 1 pear upright in the center of each soup bowl. Pour the soup over the pears and garnish with the mint sprigs.
Top with Payard’s Citrus Sorbet
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 banana, peeled
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons grenadine
- Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the syrup into a medium bowl. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
- Place the banana in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the citrus juices and grenadine and process until combined. Stir into the chilled sugar syrup.
- Freeze the sorbet in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately, or pack into an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 1 week.