Using frozen berries for your baking

IF YOU were lucky enough to have acquired lots of berries over the summer — from a fruit farm, a local hedgerow or from your garden — chances are that you still have some of them in the freezer.

Frozen berries are a very useful thing to have on hand in the kitchen. A lot of supermarkets sell them in the frozen food departments in handy, resealable bags.

The berries can be quickly defrosted in the mornings and added to porridge or granola, or made into a compote for a weekend treat.

They already contain water, so when making a compote just place the berries in the saucepan and allow to bubble gently until they have thickened slightly, stir in some honey to taste.

I often add some orange zest if I am using mixed berries or a drop of rosewater when making raspberry compote.

You can vary the berries in these recipes and use whichever ones you have on hand. One thing I would make sure to do when adding frozen berries to your cake mix, is to toss them in a little flour first.

The excess water they contain can make them heavy and more likely to sink. Coating them in flour will help them to hold their place in the cake batter.

To make a tasty frozen yogurt to serve with a slice of the lemon cake, place 100g of frozen berries into a food processor with 100mls of natural yogurt and add a tea spoon or two of honey.

Blitz until it has a similar texture to ice-cream and serve it straight away.

Lemon and mixed berry loaf

  • 250g of soft butter
  • the zest of 3 lemons and the juice of 1
  • 210g of caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 150g of ground almonds
  • 225g of polenta
  • a handful of frozen berries, tossed in some polenta
  • a handful of slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tbs of golden brown sugar

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Lightly grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.

Beat the butter, rind and sugar, until light and fluffy.

Slowly add the egg yolks, beating well. Stir in the lemon juice, ground almonds and polenta.

Whip the egg whites, until soft peaks form. Carefully fold into the polenta mixture.

Scoop half of the mixture into the tin and smooth it down, sprinkle with the berries and spread the remaining cake batter on top. Sprinkle with the slivered almonds and a little brown sugar.

Bake for about one hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes then place on a wire rack.

Orange Blueberry Buns

  • 335g of self-raising flour
  • 180g of caster sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges and 220ml of orange juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 4.5 tbs of olive oil
  • 150g of frozen blueberries, tossed in some extra flour

Heat the oven to 180C.

Fill a large bun tin with paper cases.

Sieve the flour and caster sugar and stir in orange zest.

In a separate bowl beat

orange juice, eggs and olive oil. When this is well blended add to the dry ingredients.

Stir in the frozen blueberries.

Scoop the mixture into the bun tins.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and baked through.

Raspberry and Chocolate Brownies

  • 250g of butter
  • 250g of chocolate, broken into small even pieces
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 325g of caster sugar
  • 150g of plain flour
  • 150 of frozen raspberries, tossed in flour

Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 9-inch square tin with parchment.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan.

In the meantime beat the eggs, sugar, and flour together.

Mix the chocolate mixture and the egg mixture together and stir in the raspberries.

Scoop the brownie batter into your prepared tin and flatten it out. Bake for about 25 / 30 minutes depending on how squishy and squelchy you like them. Allow to cool in the tin and then slice to your desired size.


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