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A book about berries that is 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.

"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..."

.............................................................................MYRNA ROBINS


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 Quenchers

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"Quench the Thirst, Feed the Soul, Heal the Body"


500 g Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
250 g fresh or frozen blueberries
50 g butter
40 g sugar
1 stick cinnamon
sweet pastry (see below)

Line 1 x 23 cm loose bottomed tart tin with sweet pastry reserving sufficient for the top.
Set aside to rest.
Melt the butter and the sugar together with cinnamon stick and allow to brown slightly.
Add the apples and the blueberries and cook for 7 minutes.
Strain off the juice and return the juice to the pot.
Allow to cook to a syrup and then mix it through the apple and blueberry mix. Allow to cool.
Spoon cooked mixture onto tart base and cover with remaining pastry.
Bake at 180°C in preheated oven until golden brown.
Serve hot or cold with cream or ice cream.


Yields enough pastry for 1 large tart base (25 cm)

250 g cake flour
40 g castor sugar
1 egg
160 g soft butter

To make the Pastry:
Sift the cake flour onto a clean work surface.
Make a well in the centre and add into the hole the castor sugar, egg and soft butter.
With your fingertips, start combining all the ingredients until all the flour has been incorporated and a dough is formed.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill at least for 1 hour before use.
The dough can be kept for up to 1 week in the fridge when well wrapped.
To save time, you can make a few rolls of dough, mark it well and freeze the dough for future use.
Take out of freezer and allow to defrost at room temperature before use.


Yields 1 x 23 cm tart

400 g sweet pastry (see Blueberry & Apple Tart recipe)
450 g frozen figs
2 rooibos tea bags
1 star anise (optional)
1 medium stick cinnamon
100 g sugar
125 ml water

Put together in a pot the figs, water, teabags, spices and sugar.
Bring to the boil. Do not overcook. Leave to cool.

To make the Frangipani Paste:

120 g melted butter
120 g castor sugar
120 g ground almonds
20 g flour
3 drops almond essence
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten

Cream the butter until soft. Add sugar, almond essence and flour. Beat well.
Add the eggs one by one, beating until fluffy.
Roll out 400 g sweet pastry to fit a 23 cm tart baking tin.
Spread almond paste mixture over pastry.
Drain figs and arrange on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
Serve warm or cold, with yoghurt & honey.


1.5 litres hot water
35g honeybush leaves
1 star anise
1 cardamom pod
15g sugar
50ml honey
125g frozen raspberries


Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-based pot.
Bring slowly to the boil over medium heat.
Immediately switch off and leave to cool.
Strain through muslin or coffee filter paper.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Serve with mint and fresh berries, if available.

Yields 6 individual 7.5 cm cheesecakes or 1 round 28 cm cheesecake

500g smooth cottage cheese
500g mascarpone cheese
250g castor sugar
1 lemon – zest and juice
4 gelatine leaves (1 gelatine leaf = 3.2 ml powdered gelatine)
300ml whipped cream
450g fresh or frozen cape gooseberries defrosted and drained
3cm fresh ginger – peeled and finely grated OR substitute the fresh ginger with about 10-15 ml ground ginger.

Gently mix the cheeses together in a big mixing bowl.
While mixing, add the sugar and lemon juice with the zest.
Soften the gelatine in cold water to sponge.
Warm 50 ml of cream and add the gelatine.
Stir over a low heat until the gelatine has just melted.
Do not let the gelatine boil as this will inhibit its setting.

Add the melted gelatine to the cheese mixture by letting it pour from a height in a thin
stream, stirring the mixture all the time. This prevents the gelatine from clotting and forming lumps in your cheesecakes.
Fold in the berries. Fold in the cream and ginger.
Taste your mixture and add more ginger if needed.
Place in the moulds and allow to set for at least 1 ½ hours.


Quick & Easy Berry Compote

500g assorted berries fresh or frozen
25ml sugar
25ml water
1 level teaspoon cornflour


Combine the berries, sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Bring to the boil over low heat.
Make a paste with the cornflour and stir into the hot berry mixture.
Cook for 1 minute.


The compote will last for up to 2 weeks if kept in the fridge in a closed and sterilised bottle.


1 ripe banana
2 generous handfuls of berries
300ml greek yoghurt
2 Tbsps honey
2 heaped Tbsps peanut butter

Blend together banana and berries.
Add rest of the ingre-dients and blend until smooth.



50g blueberries
½ lime
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tots cachaça
Crushed ice

Cut lime into segments.
In a glass add lime, blueberries and sugar.
Muddle well.
Fill glass with crushed ice and add cachaca.



200g puff pastry
350g fresh or frozen figs, halved
80g blue cheese crumbs
100g shredded spinach
4 eggs
250ml cream
salt & pepper
reduced balsamic vinegar for garnish

Roll out the puff pastry for 23cm tart base.
Blind bake the pastry.
Cover pastry case with shredded spinach & top with bluecheese crumbs.
Arrange the fresh figs in the pastry case on top of the blue cheese.
Whisk eggs and cream together and season. Pour the egg mixture gently over the other ingredients until the quiche base is almost full.
Bake at 200°C for 20 mins or until egg has set in middle of quiche.
Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.
Serve with fresh garden salad.



Serves 8

Summer Pudding Filling:

350g Hillcrest Frozen Assorted Berries or fresh berries in season.
(if using frozen berries defrost & drain first)
75g Castor Sugar
60ml Water

Combine all the ingredients & bring to the boil.
Allow to cool.


1 cup Castor Sugar
125ml Oil
125ml hot Water
1 pinch Salt
1 cup Cake Flour
20g Baking Powder
4 Eggs, separated

Combine castor sugar, oil & salt in a mixing bowl. Fold in the flour & baking powder & then the egg whites that have been whipped to soft peak stage.

Pour mixture onto a prepared baking sheet (±1cm deep) & bake for ±15 to 20 minutes at 180ºC.
Cool & cut into discs & lengths to line prepared ramekins or moulds.

Quickly soak the sponge in the berry liquid mixture & line the ramekins. Fill the centre with the berry pulp & close with sponge cake to keep the liquid inside. Refrigerate & demould. Use the remaining juice to serve as a coulis.


500g Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered
100g frozen cranberries, chopped in half while frozen
40g walnuts, chopped
zest of 1 orange
20g sugar
5ml cinnamon
2,5ml ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
250g sweet pastry

Line the bottom of a 23–25cm loose bottomed tin with pastry.
Mix all ingredients together and spoon mixture into the prepared pastry case.
Cover the tart with more pastry.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 mins or until pastry is golden brown.
Serve hot or cold with cream or ice cream.



90g plain sponge cake, cut into squares
60ml brandy or rum.(Blackberry Liqueur is particularly good)
180g fresh blackberries. If using frozen blackberries, defrost and drain.
120ml whipped cream
125ml custard (making an egg custard is worth the effort)
60g fruit jelly or blackcurrant jelly
Mint & walnuts for decoration (optional)

Soak berries overnight in the alcohol.
Layer individual serving glasses or large
glass serving bowl with sponge cake.
Sprinkle with the juice & alcohol from the berries.
Layer the berries and the jelly on top of the sponge cake.
Pour over the custard, allowing to sink in and fill up all the gaps.
Spoon whipped cream on top.
Garnish with fresh berries and/or fresh mint and walnuts.




50ml berry juice
100g strawberries (fresh or frozen)
60g castor sugar
5ml gelatine
1 egg white
75ml cream

Place the berry juice & strawberries into a saucepan & bring to the boil.
Stir in castor sugar until dissolved.
Add gelatine slowly & mix thoroughly.
Fold in whipped egg whites & then whipped cream separately.
Place in a 250ml mould & refrigerate.

Hazelnut & Condensed Milk Quenelle

Roast 1 Tbsp hazel nuts, remove skins & grind (easily done with a rolling pin).
Add equal volume of icing sugar & enough condensed milk to form a thick paste (consistency of play dough!)
Using 2 teaspoons, shape into quenelles (oval shapes).
Place on top of mousse.
Serves 4



Grilled duck breast on toasted sesame seed egg noodles topped with black cherries & blackberry jus.

(Serves 1)

1 Duck Breast
2 Cardamom Pods
s Cloves
1tsp Szechuan Pepper
1 Star Aniseed

Grind all the spices together & marinade the duck breast overnight.
Dust off the excess spices before grilling.

Black (Sour) Cherry & Blackberry Sauce

Allow 40g black (sour) cherries & 40g blackberries to defrost overnight.
Make 15ml balsamic vinegar reduction by simmering 30ml balsamic vinegar in an open pot until it is thick & reduced by 50%.
Simmer together the defrosted berries & juice, 15ml balsamic reduction & 100ml beef stock until reduced to the required consistency.
Drizzle over the duck breast & serve.


bon appétit!