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Posted on: Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Berried Treasure by Hillcrest Berry Orchards – Book Review

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Hillcrestberries.co.za CoverFrom the Foreword by Myrna Robin, Hillcrestberries.co.za is a generous reflection of Hillcrest’s irresistible recipes, complete with pearls of wisdom about growing, harvesting and enjoying youngberries, blackberries, raspberries, tayberries, boysenberries, blueberries, gooseberries, red and blackcurrants and more… Strawberries have their chance to shine and there are sections devoted to figs, which are also cultivated at Hillcrest, as well as to imported varieties like cranberries, currants and black cherries …

From the Publisher

This is one of my favourite books because it was a pleasure to work with the owners of Hillcrest Berry Orchards. We both wanted to produce a colourful, tempt-your-tastbuds experience and we feel we did just that! This recipe book is full of delicious photography and the best of all – it’s all on berries! Well, most of them …

It’s both informative and mouth-wateringly beautiful. 110 pages packed with recipes, culinary hints, nutritional information and quirky quotes. Each page sparkles with illustrations that capture the sun-filled health-giving qualities of berries.

 

About Raymond & Betty O’Grady

Avacodo & Fresh Berry Salad with Strawberry & Fennel Dressing (page 80)Both Raymond & Betty came to the “berry business” from very different professions. Raymond was in the business of Human Resources and Public Relations for 14 years and Betty had an academic career in French and Francophone African writing. But their diverse training and experience has stood them in good stead as they have slowly built up a successful business with its own personal stamp. From packing fresh berries in their kitchen they now supply countrywide their fresh and frozen berries, berry jams, condiments and sauces, as well as exporting to niche markets. But the kernel of the business remains the farm where visitors can enjoy the unparalleled setting from the restaurant terrace.

About the Book – Berried Treasure

From the Foreword by Myrna Robin, Hillcrestberries.co.za is a generous reflection of Hillcrest’s irresistible recipes, complete with pearls of wisdom about growing, harvesting and enjoying youngberries, blackberries, raspberries, tayberries, boysenberries, blueberries, gooseberries, red and blackcurrants and more… Strawberries have their chance to shine and there are sections devoted to figs, which are also cultivated at Hillcrest, as well as to imported varieties like cranberries, currants and black cherries.

Mouthwatering photographs by Hannes Thiart complement the detailed recipes, adding up to a sure combination for successful results. Just by skimming through the instructions for the raspberry and white chocolate tart, the chilled cherry soup and the pineapple and redcurrant sorbet, you will hunger for more… there are summer treats that hold special appeal when the temperature nudges 30°C.

There are recipes for all seasons and tastes – trendy bakes like blueberry and almond biscotti share pages with old-fashioned treats such as blueberry and apple tart. Among the wealth of cheesecakes and crumbles, icecreams and mousses, smoothies and salsas, you will even find formulae for berry face masks!

South Africa’s first cookbook devoted to berries will make a splendid, scrumptious souvenir of visits to Hillcrest, of its berried treasure, of the beauty of the setting in this stunning part of the Boland.

Hillcrestberries.co.za Recipes photographsPhotographs – Left: Raspberry & White Chocolate Tart (page 73) / Right: Berry Cheesecake (page 24)

Try this Strawberry Mouse – Serves 6 – 8

450 g fresh or frozen strawberries, defrosted
50 g sugar (or to taste)
2 tblsp water
15 ml gelatine
lemon juice
2 egg whites
250 ml double cream or single whipped cream
1 tblsp rum, kirsch or other liqueur (optional)

To make the Strawberry Mousse:
Bring the berries, sugar and water to the boil and simmer gently for 1 minute.
Blend and sieve. Add liqueur. Set aside to cool.
Soak the gelatine in the lemon juice and a little water. Heat over boiling water until the gelatine has dissolved.
Add to the blended berries.
Whisk the egg whites and add to the mixture together with the cream.
Set in individual dishes. Decorate with a fresh strawberry if available, or a mint leaf or a thin slice of lemon twisted into a curl.

 

And if you want more …

Hillcrest Berry Quenchers – 64 laminated pages of creative ideas for making drinks with berries, from iced teas to cordials, smoothies to cocktails, so beautifully illustrated that you can hear the ice cubes tinkling… What better way to enjoy the flavour and goodness of berries?

Hillcrest Berry QuenchersPhotographs: Pages from the book, “Berry Quenchers”.

 

Barbara Mueller

About 

Barbara is the Founder of New Voices Publishing, a Boutique Publishing House that offers the South African author new alternatives - giving unpublished authors the platform to have a voice. New Voices Publishing puts a new face on publishing. Barbara has published a wide range of books from big blockbusters to specialist niche subjects, including romance novels, history, natural sciences, arts, travel, economics and biographies. Barbara loves living out in the country tending to her extensive organic garden and having fun with her hubby and their pets, the chickens!

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