Holiday-best berries

By Eileen Goltz, Food Editor

In the world of berries it’s really hard to pick a winner for best flavor, best taste or all-around best berry. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are all at their best in the late summer and serving them at Rosh Hashanah or for break- the-fast is practically a tradition.

Custard and Berry Tart (Dairy or Parve)

  • 1 ready-made piecrust
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or parve sour cream
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened or parve cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream or non-dairy substitute
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350°. Press the pie dough into a 4- by 14-inch tart pan (up the sides too) and bake 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

While the dough is cooking and cooling combine the sour cream, cream cheese, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla and whipping cream into the bowl of a food processor. Mix to combine and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When the pastry shell is cooled spoon the mixture into the shell and make sure it’s evenly distributed. Arrange berries and oranges on top in a decorative manner. Place the apricot jam in a glass dish and microwave until it is liquid. Brush the apricot jam all over the top of the fruit and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

Berry Cornbread With Berry Topping (Dairy)

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange zest


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large egg
  • Sweetened whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping, optional

Topping: in a bowl combine the raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Add brown sugar and orange zest and gently mix to combine. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 425°. In a bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix to combine with a whisk. Add the milk, butter, oil and egg. Whisk to combine.

Grease a 9- by 9-inch baking pan and pour batter into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove the cornbread from the pan and cool on a wire rack, then cut into 9 squares. Optional: top with 1 tablespoon whipped topping over each serving. Serves 9.

~ Modified from a recipe from

Lemon Berry Curd (Dairy or Parve)

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons butter or parve margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

  In a saucepan combine the sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, salt and yolks. Over a low heat cook, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken (6 to 7 minutes). Remove from heat and add the butter and zest. Whisk until the butter is melted. Pour the mixture into a glass serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Spoon 2 tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of 8 dessert cups. Spoon 2 tablespoons of lemon curd on top of the crumbs. Top the curd with the berries and then sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top. Serves 8.

Breakfast Oven Cake With Berries (Dairy or Parve)

  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk or almond milk
  • 2 cups raspberries, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter or parve margarine, melted
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced

  Purée 1 cup raspberries in a food processor. Strain and set the sauce aside.

Preheat oven to 425°. Set a 9- by 13-inch pan in the oven. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, 1/4 cup honey, and lemon zest. Add the salt, flour, and 1/4 cup milk. Whisk to combine until the mixture is smooth (no lumps). Whisk in the remaining milk and set aside. Remove pan from oven and add the melted butter and tilt to cover the bottom with the butter. Pour the batter into the pan and then drizzle the raspberry sauce over the top, moving back and forth to create ribbons of the sauce in the batter. Reduce oven to 400° and bake 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up (pancake will fall).

In a bowl combine the strawberries and remaining 1 cup raspberries and 1 1/2 tablespoons honey. Mash to combine. To serve, spoon half of fruit over pancake and serve the rest on the side. Serve in wedges. Serves 6 to 8.

~ Modified from

Asian Chicken Berry Salad (Meat)

  • 1/2 cups oil
  • 1/4 cups soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cups thinly sliced fennel

Chicken Salad:

  • 1 package Driscoll’s strawberries (about 3 cups), hulled and sliced or quartered
  • 1 pound leftover chicken, shredded or cubed deli smoked chicken breast
  • 8 ounces mixed baby greens, washed and dried (about 8 cups)
  • 1 cup julienned jicama
  • 4 green onions, sliced

Sesame Dressing: Place vegetable oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, Dijon mustard, ginger, shallot, garlic and pepper in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate in a covered container. (Makes about 1 1/3 cups.)

Chicken Salad: Combine strawberries, chicken, greens, jicama, fennel and green onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with about 1/2 cup dressing and toss to coat; serve with the remaining dressing. Serves 6.

~ Modified from

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