Minichefs: Eton mess at Hillcrest Berry Orchards
Some Capetonian Minichefs were recently treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the orchards and factory at Hillcrest Berries, Stellenbosch, located on the R310 between Stellenbosch and Franschoek.
Part of the company’s mission statement is to create jobs in this beautiful farming area and Hillcrest Berries has remained true to this vision, which ensures the fruit is lovingly picked, sorted and processed by hand.
Apart from supplying fresh berries in season, they are also available frozen and as an amazing selection of jams, compotes, liqueurs and more. The process from planting to packaging all takes place on site ensuring fresh products can reach the consumer in as little time as possible.
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and Cape gooseberries abound at the farm and the Minichefs happily tucked into the berries in making their treats for the day. A secluded picnic site set among the orchards provided an incredible outdoor kitchen to work in and first up was a recipe for Marshmallow Berry Muddle.
To make this British classic, mix together whipped cream, yoghurt, chopped marshmallows and large handfuls of berries. Serve in individual cups topped with crumbled chocolate Flake. Then it was on to a lesson in constructing a Berry-laden Tart.
Available on the menu at the Hillcrest Berries restaurant, this tart is well worth a try. All you need are some short crust pastry shells (get a recipe), creme anglaise (get a recipe) and fresh berries – the combination of flavours was delicious and resulted in the need for a bit of a rest in the Stellenbosch sunshine.
Members of the public can visit the restaurant and shop at Hillcrest Berry Orchards pretty much 365 days of the year, or contact them about your private function at the picnic site. They also have some self-catering cottages available, so keep those in mind if you’re planning a trip to the Cape.
So whether you choose to add berries to your favorite apple pie, spread their jam on your toast or just eat a handful fresh from the punnet, they are a wonderful addition to your kitchen.
Thanks for having us, Hillcrest friends.