It’s berry season on the west coast again—a time I look forward to every year! Although most people think of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries as their go-to berries for baking, freezing, or just eating off the vine, I’ve been lucky enough to get out there in the bushes and discover a few berries that don’t seem to get the same love as our popular friend the strawberry.
I’ll admit it, I was pretty much a one berry girl until I ventured out into the bushes of the acreage we just moved into. Everywhere I look there are bushes of different types, complete with a rainbow of berries on them. I had to get out my phone and look a few of them up, because although I’ve gone back woods a time or two, I had never seen a few of these growing around a yard.
Maybe you’ll find a few of these berries on a summer hike this year, and if you do, you’ll know exactly what you can cook up with them.
Salmon berries are pretty easy to spot. They range in color from bright orange to deep red, and although they look like a raspberry, they don’t taste like one. Salmon berries have a sort of sour taste, and they’re kind of watery if you grab a ripe one, but now that I know they’re out there they are on my must-eat list.
Here’s a recipe for Salmon Berry pie from the Foodnetwork.com.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pint whipping cream
Mix the flour, butter, salt, and cardamom. Add water and mix until it becomes a ball. Be sure not to overmix.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Flour surface and rolling pin to roll pastry out on. Roll to about 1/4-inch. Place in a 9-inch pie dish and crimp the edges. Line crust with foil to maintain shape. Bake at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 5 minutes. Remove and let cool.
To make the Salmonberry filling: Crush 2 cups of the Salmonberries through a sieve. This will take some time but it is essential to remove all of the seeds. Add water to Salmonberry juice to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Put the juice and water into a pan. Add sugar and salt.
Mix the cornstarch and cardamom with some of the juice, then add it to the sieved berry mixture. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 to10 minutes. Do not scorch. Remove from heat and let cool. Add remaining berries, stir and pour into the pre-baked shell. Chill pie until completely cold.
Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spread over the top of the pie and serve.
I was wandering through a side garden behind my new house and I came across a plant bursting with tiny, red berries. I probably should have known what it was, but I’ve never seen a currant plant growing anywhere before so I had to get on my phone and look it up before I tried one.
Turns out currants are absolutely delicious picked right from the vine, and are even better when used in baking. I had no idea how many recipes there are that use currants, and you’d be limiting yourself if you just made a currant jam. Try this recipe for something to eat with tea or your morning coffee. Recipe from Canadian Living. Photo from the Food Network.
3/4 cup (175 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried currants
2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
4 tsp (18 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/3 cup (75 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tbsp (15 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
In small bowl, whisk together cream, eggs and sugar; stir in currants. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Using pastry blender, 2 knives or fingertips, cut in butter until in coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. Pour in cream mixture; stir with fork just until dough forms.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface; pat out into scant 3/4-inch (2 cm) thickness. Using 2-inch (5 cm) round cutter, cut out scones. Repeat with scraps once.
Topping: Place, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Brush with cream; sprinkle with sugar. Bake in 450°F (230°C) oven until tops are light golden, 11 to 12 minutes.
Most of us have heard of blackberries, and it’s easy to spot them on the sides of the trail when you’re hiking. Despite the recognition factor and how comfortable people are with picking and eating them, not a lot of people do more than that. But baking with blackberries is a real treat, mostly because you’ll get some very sour berries in the bunch and it really livens up the flavor of something you’d normally make with raspberries or strawberries.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/2-cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup boiling water just until mixture is evenly moist.
In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water. Mix in remaining 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries. Transfer to a cast iron skillet, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Drop dough into the skillet by spoonfuls. Place skillet on the foil lined baking sheet.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until dough is golden brown.
Berry season is in full swing, so make sure you get outside and go off the beaten path a little when choosing your fruit. You never know what you might find!
Here are a few other ways you can go berry crazy this year:
Add a set of berry red towels to your bathroom
Burt’s Bees has a body bar in summer fresh scents
|Make your own cold refreshing infused water|
By Shelly Wutke, Editor Appliances and Home & Lifestyle
From blenders to laptop computers, I like to take everything I write and put a personal spin on it. As a Vancouver freelancer for 5 years, I’ve written for the Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Province, Chicken Soup for the Soul (grab your hanky, that one is a tear jerker), and on too many websites to list. My personal website is at survivemag.com and if you like Twitter, come find me and chat at @kidswap.