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I'm not about to be so bold as to publicly hate on pie, but when summer berries are so close to perfect it can feel like a bit of a crime to throw all of them in the oven. Plus, these days, more likely than not, it's too darn hot for the oven. These berry shakes are a perfect way to enjoy summer berries as close to their natural state of perfection as possible when you've tired of just shoving them in your face by the handful.
I first approached making these shakes using the very standard milkshake formula of ice cream plus milk plus flavoring, in this case berries. However, it quickly became clear that the super-juicy fresh berries didn't need the liquid that the milk provides. So each of these recipes begins with pureeing the berries first in the blender to make the liquid for the shake. This concentrates the awesome berry flavor and keeps the resulting shake thick.
Strawberry Mascarpone Shake
When I was growing up, one of my mom's summer dessert specialties was a plate of sliced strawberries sprinkled with a bit of sugar. Simple is better when it comes to perfectly ripe strawberries and the same definitely holds true for this shake. Strawberries are the stars, complemented with just a little bit of rich mascarpone and fragrant vanilla bean.
Raspberry, Ginger, and Coconut Shake
Raspberries are the summer berries most in danger of not making it from the market to my apartment without finding their way to my mouth. This isn't entirely a bad thing, since super-fragile, ripe red raspberries are best eaten ASAP. Save your less aesthetically pleasing berries for this shake. Blending them up with super-creamy coconut milk ice cream and fresh ginger makes for a thick, jewel-toned thick isn't too heavy or sweet.
Boozy Blueberry-Maple Shake
When spirits and milkshakes meet, things typically go in the direction of chocolate, coffee, hazelnut, and other flavored liqueurs. Gin may not be the first booze that comes to mind for a spiked milkshake, but blueberries and gin are a perfect match. Maple syrup complements the tart berries and herbal, juniper notes of the gin make for an alcoholic shake that's more classy than you might suspect.
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