Extending the Fresh Blackberries Season
Blackberry Puree Ready-to-Use for Many other RecipesThis year I have been fortunate enough to encounter a bumper-crop of fresh blackberries growing wild where I live. There have been so many blackberries ripening at once that eating them all while fresh is just not possible — I can eat perhaps a quart of berries a day, but something has to be done with the remainder.
So, time to cook these berries up for simple storage (and reduced storage space in the freezer too).
The steps to this "recipe" cannot get much easier:
- pick berries, unless a very nice neighbor or friend donates some to your cause;
- rinse them off well in a colander
- place the berries in a nice large pot in which you can cook down a substantial batch on the stove top at once. If you have very ripe berries, there should be no need for any additional water in the pot (to prevent burning or such), since they should have a lot of their own natural juice
- bring the berries up to a light boil — if your berries are as ripe as the ones I am using, your pot should have plenty of liquid in it just from mashing a large stirring-spoon through the berries a couple times.
- reduce the heat to a simmer and be patient — stir every so often to prevent any burning and let the batch cook down as much as you desire. This can take an hour or more to off-steam enough liquid to thicken the mixture considerably.
- Let cool and place into containers of your choosing and freeze (and, perhaps keep some in the fridge for the coming week or so)
|Fresh Blackberries ready to cook down on stove top|
Although I could freeze the berries whole, I have limited freezer space and this process allows me to greatly reduce the volume of the berries.
I have kept a bunch of cleaned, used, pint (1/2 liter) size plastic yogurt containers into which I place my cooked berry sauce.
Then, I place these containers in the freezer for easy retrieval and thawing when I need blackberries for any other recipes I am planning, or simply for my morning yogurt. I make my own flavored-yogurt by simply adding about a 1/2 cup of this cooked blackberry sauce to a cup of greek or plain yogurt, along with a bit of honey and slight bit of lemon juice (or couple drops of lemon oil). This is the way a blackberry-yogurt should be — loaded with berries and full of flavor!
I also use this puree in some other gluten-free dessert recipes, like: cheesecakes (right in the batter), other cakes (in batter, or in the frosting, or both), berry pies (used along with some other fresh/frozen berries), my morning pancakes (in or on), and much more.
This is one of my favorite gluten-free recipes / treats that comes along during a limited season each year. I hope you are able to find some fresh berries nearby to try this yourself.
|Nicely cooked-down blackberry puree / sauce|