Written by McKenna Kelley | Photography by Gabriel Burgos
Something about biting into fresh juicy berries just goes hand-in-hand with summertime. Make the steamy season more berry-ble with these dishes and drinks from three Tampa restaurants, or try your hand at whipping them up in your own home.
Blueberry Shortcake (above)
In the grand tradition of the American South, chef-owner Greg Baker and the culinary team at Fodder & Shine make each of this open-faced dessert’s four components – a buttermilk biscuit (made from a top-secret recipe), blueberry compote, lemon shortbread crumble and buttermilk ice cream – from scratch. Recognizing this would be an overwhelming process for the average home cook, sous chef Ben Baylies advises using premade, “pop-in-the-oven” biscuits and store-bought buttermilk ice cream or following the recipes of your choice.
1 pint fresh blueberries
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
Mix all ingredients in small pot. Cook compote on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until compote is cooked down to a thin jam consistency.
If you choose to make homemade buttermilk ice cream, Baylies advises making it three days in advance so it sets completely. He says Fodder & Shine’s version is custard-based, so it is super creamy.
Buttermilk Ice Cream
4 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp white sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
10 egg yolks
In a pot, add white sugar, brown sugar, cream, buttermilk and salt. Bring to a simmer on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl, and slowly temper yolks by adding spoonfuls of hot cream mixture while continuing to whisk. Once egg yolks are hot, add back to cream mixture and cook on low, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Pull off heat and whisk in vanilla. Chill overnight and sin in ice cream spinner the following day. Allow to freeze overnight again.
For the shortbread, Baylies says, “The lemon shortbread we use can be substituted with store-bought shortbread, but I’d suggest taking a little extra time to make it yourself. Nothing beats fresh shortbread.”
7 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup white sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Zest of two lemons
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream softened butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt until incorporated. Add vanilla and lemon zest until incorporated. Add flour in two parts, mixing until incorporated. Remove dough from bowl and form into a large flat square on parchment paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Once chilled, remove from refrigerator, place a parchment sheet over the dough and roll out until flat and even, no thicker than ½ inch. Cut dough into squares. Bake in 325-degree oven on parchment-lined cookie sheet for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
Blueberry Compote with Buttermilk Ice Cream, Lemon Shortbread and Buttermilk Biscuits
Heat ½ of buttermilk biscuit in 350-degree oven for 5 minutes, till hot. Top with a giant scoop of your favorite buttermilk ice cream. Spoon ¼ cup of blueberry compote over ice cream, and top with crumbled lemon shortbread.
Serves 8 to 10. Recipe by Ben Baylies, sous chef at Fodder & Shine.
Where to find it:
Fodder & Shine (now The Refinery)
5910 N. Florida Ave.
Light, Light Wake Up Call
In a classic case of deceptive appearances, this colorful cocktail is indeed berry-, rather than citrus-, based. The hue of muddled strawberries combine with lemon juice and St. Germain elderflower liqueur to create a summer cocktail perfect for brunch, as South Tampa’s O Cocina serves it, or as an afternoon refresher.
2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. St. Germain
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2-3 medium fresh strawberries
2-3 fresh basil leaves
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Muddle strawberries and basil. Mix in gin, St. Germain, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake. Double strain into glass of choice. Float with sauvignon blanc. Garnish with fresh mint or fresh basil leaf
Where to find it:
4110 Henderson Blvd.
Fresh Berry & Toasted Almond Salad
This simple salad makes an easy, healthy dish to bring to a picnic at Curtis Hixon Park or for a boating day out on the bay. Stick with Portillo’s toppings or switch it up to include whatever fresh berries you have on hand.
Combine Tuscan spring mix and chopped romaine lettuce in equal proportions. Season and prepare chicken breast to taste. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle over spring and lettuce mix. Top with toasted almonds, raspberries, blackberries and sliced strawberries to your liking. Serve with raspberry vinaigrette.
Where to find it:
2102 E. Fowler Ave.
1748 W. Brandon Blvd.