Monday, June 30, 2008

Booze 'n Berries over Lemon Poppyseed Muffin

Booze 'n Berries, originally uploaded by chrisfreeland2002.

I'm a berry freak. It's genetically coded into my DNA, but it skipped a generation. Let me explain: Growing up, my grandfather had a u-pick strawberry patch. He loved it; my father, who (to hear him tell it) spent his entire childhood toiling in the berry patch under the hot Midwestern sun, most emphatically did not! Since I never had to work in a berry patch, I have only vivid and fond memories of my cousin Holly and I walking the rows and eating handfuls of sweet, warm, juicy strawberries right off the runner. To me, strawberry = summer.

I call this "Booze 'n Berries" because I kick up the flavors by adding in Cointreau and Creme de Cassis, two of my favorite liquors to use in desserts. This is a great topping for pound cake or ice cream, or in this case over a store-bought Lemon Poppyseed Muffin (if you can make your own, go for it; if not, don't sweat it and just by from the bakery!). You can make it with just strawberries, but I like to add in blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries (sometimes all 3!) depending on what looks good at the market. I love to make this because it's an easy, no fuss dessert that your guests will wipe clean off the plate!

1 qt strawberries, sliced thick & chunky
1 pint blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar, depending on ripeness (use less if the berries are already sweet)
1/2 lemon, zest & juice
1T balsamic vinegar
2 T Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 T Creme de Cassis
1 T mint, chiffonade
4 Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, sliced in half down the middle

Slice strawberries into a large bowl. Add in other berries, sugar, lemon, vinegar, liquors, and mint. Stir gently, so as not to mash the berries. Let the berries macerate (juice) and the flavors develop in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes and up to 1 day. Serve on top of pound cake, ice cream, muffins, or heck just eat it plain with a spoon.


Anonymous said...

Those lemon poppy seed muffins look great. I like how you've accessorized with berries and drink.

Chris Freeland said...

Thanks, S! I love to bake but when I'm pressed for time I'll pick up some "bakery fresh" muffins like these and assemble an easy dessert.