BERRY PICKING + BLUEBERRY, RAW HONEY & COCONUT FOOL
This past weekend, I drove out to Ochs Orchard an hour and a half outside NYC to pick some berries and, really, to take my little girl berry picking for the first time. This is a gorgeous pick-your-own farm that had blueberries, raspberries and cherries that day (call for availability before going always!), and we had an incredible time. What's super cute about this farm is that they have a donkey and goat that you can pet and feed and also a farm store with serious ice cream (and heavenly raw honey). It's definitely worth the drive out and made for an exhausting day for my little one!
Coming home with a glut of berries means I've been messing around with recipes and preserving this week. What I love is that they are so sweet, whatever I've made I use minimal sugar. I wanted to make a non-dairy frozen dessert, so I decided to go the coconut route. Did you realize you can whip coconut cream, the semi-solid, thick layer in coconut milk? I did not! and so I set off whipping coconut cream, cooking down the blueberries to concentrate the juices and folding them in with a bit of honey. The result was a delicious blueberry, raw honey and coconut fool (a fool is an English dessert which usually has fruit folded into whipped cream or other custard).
I really loved it in it's chilled, custard-like state; all of the flavors really stood out that way - the creaminess of the coconut, the slightly tart and sweet, syrupy blueberries and the floral, raw honey. I cooked the blueberries down with a bit of sherry vinegar and honey, and it really brought out all that signature blueberry flavor. BUT I still wanted to see what happened if I froze it...and so I did. It made for a delicious semifreddo though the blueberries and low sugar content made it a bit more icy than I prefer. Verdict on the semifreddo: flavor on point, texture not the best. So the recipe I'm sharing is for the fool. Feel free to enjoy it however you want!
Yields 1 9” x 5” loaf pan
2 ¾ cups blueberries
2 tablespoons raw honey, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons water
a pinch of salt
4 cans coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A few things to do ahead of time: (1) make sure to chill the coconut milk overnight in the fridge to solidify the coconut cream; and (2) chill the whipping bowl and whisk or whisk attachment in the fridge for a half hour or so before using (will help it whip up).
Heat blueberries with honey and vinegar over medium heat. Simmer covered for 5 minutes until the blueberries break down and then simmer uncovered another 4 to 5 minutes until the juice thickens. Cool completely (and it will continue to thicken as it cools).
Open the chilled cans of coconut milk and take out the top, solid layer of coconut cream only, leaving behind the water. Whip the coconut cream in the chilled bowl with confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and cinnamon for 3 to 4 minutes using either a stand/hand mixer or straight arm strength.
Layer half of the coconut mixture in the loaf pan. Drizzle all over with raw honey and half of the blueberry mixture. Top with the remaining whipped coconut cream and repeat. Take a butter knife and make swirls to incorporate the layers. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
You can also freeze it if you want to go the semifreddo route!