Monday, September 16, 2013
One of the fun things about getting married to a man whose mom and sisters are awesome cooks is being introduced to a whole new set of great recipes!
Ed's family had completely different food traditions than my family which makes holiday meals even more special. One of their favorite foods is raspberry tapioca. I had never eaten anything quite like it - and it was love at first bite.
Maybe part of what makes raspberry tapioca so special is the knowledge that it is a labor of love. Ed's sister and her children stalk the fence rows in the summer, harvesting buckets of black raspberries that she cans in jars to be enjoyed the rest of the year as raspberry tapioca. I've done a little bit of raspberry picking in fence rows. Between the thorns, biting bugs, and poison ivy - it is a job for only the strong and the brave!
I'd love to have a patch of black raspberries on our property, and there is a few in our back pasture, but only enough to find a handful or two.
But this year, our thornless blackberries produced well. Could I can blackberries and make blackberry tapioca? It was worth a try.
I filled quart jars with blackberries, added 1/4 tsp of pure powdered stevia, and filled the jar with water. I canned the berries for 12 minutes. (My sister-in-law uses 1/4 cup of sugar per jar instead of stevia.) I tried not to fill the jars too full, but some juice still managed to squeeze out.
Now to try for tapioca...
I opened a jar and poured the contents into a sieve. The berries have lost a lot of their color.
Using a spoon, I mashed the berries, trying to squeeze out as much juice as possible. The result was almost three cups of blackberry juice and I added a little water to make a complete three cups. I then followed my sister-in-law's recipe, replacing the sugar with honey, and finding that I needed to decrease the water.
After a try or two, Ed deemed it a total success! The flavor is a little different than raspberry but still rich and delicious.
Want to try it? Here is the recipe...
Black Raspberry (or Blackberry) Tapioca
1 cup water
3 cups raspberry/blackberry juice
3 T. lemon juice
8 T. tapioca
3/4 cup honey
dash of salt
sweetened whipped cream
Mix water, berry juice, lemon juice, tapioca, honey, and salt. Let stand 5 minutes to soften tapioca. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool 20 minutes. Stir well. Place in refrigerator and cool for several hours. Top with sweetened whipped cream.
If you prefer sugar instead of honey, the original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of sugar with an additional 1/2 of water.