Summer time is blackberry time

August 5, 2020

Jane Arrr, Wikimedia Commons

Use just blackberries or mix with other berries or even apples to create a delicious dessert to serve this summer.

After years of saying that I wish I had my own blackberry vines, I finally got a thornless variety called Chester, about two years ago.

 

Last year, I think we picked eight berries or maybe even fewer. This year the vine is loaded. It is grown in a large pot on my deck, and we have ropes in place to support the canes.

 

I have fond memories of a large blackberry vine growing against the wall of a shed out at my grandparents’ farm. It’s a wonder my grandparents ever got any berries, what with grandkids helping themselves whenever they wanted.

 

If you love fresh blackberries as much as I do, I hope you find something here you will want to try.

 

Blackberry dumplings

 

This is a recipe I have shared several years before, one that reminds me of my other grandmother (my mom’s mom). She often had a pot of blackberry dumplings simmering on the stove.

 

3 pints blackberries

 

3/4 cup water

 

1 cup sugar

 

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

 

2 cups flour

 

3 tablespoons sugar

 

1 teaspoon salt

 

3 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

 

1 egg

 

Milk

 

1. Combine blackberries, water, sugar and butter in a large saucepan and let the mixture sit while preparing remainder of recipe. 

 

2. Sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add egg and mix well. Add enough milk to make a stiff batter.

 

3. Bring blackberry mixture to a boil.  Add dough a spoonful at a time into the boiling mixture. Cover with a lid, reduce heat slightly to prevent sticking and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

 

Blackberry pie bars

 

3 cups flour

 

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

 

1 teaspoon baking powder

 

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Zest and juice of one lemon, divided

 

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

 

1 large egg

 

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

4 cups fresh blackberries

 

4 teaspoons cornstarch

 

1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

 

2. In a food processor, pulse together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest. Add butter, egg and vanilla. Pulse until dough is crumbly.

 

3. Pat half of dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, saving the remaining dough for the topping.

 

4. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blackberries. Sprinkle the blackberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

 

5. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown (you are only looking for the top to slightly brown, if you cook for too long you take the risk of the bottom burning.

 

6. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container. Makes 12 bars.

 

Blackberry-pineapple smoothie

 

Add some banana to this if you like.

 

3/4 cup frozen blackberries

 

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

 

1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

 

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

 

1 tablespoon honey, or to taste, optional

 

1. Add all ingredients (except honey) to a blender and process until smooth, adding more almond milk if it is too thick.

 

2. Taste mixture, then add up to 1 tablespoon honey if you desire. Makes 1 serving.

 

Fresh blackberry pie

 

1 cup sugar

 

1/3 cup quick-cooking tapioca

 

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

4 cups fresh blackberries, divided

 

Pastry for double-crust pie

 

2 tablespoons butter

 

1. Preheat oven to 400. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, tapioca and salt. Add 1 cup blackberries; toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes. Cook and stir over medium heat until berries burst and mixture comes to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat; gently stir in remaining berries.

 

2. Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom pastry; trim pastry even with edge of plate. Add filling; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top.

 

3. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.

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