Jul 20, 2007
Blackberries -- The Analog-Only Kind
Urban blackberries! Above, a few from the many bushes on the 1500 block of Pettigrew St. between Erwin Rd. and Swift Ave. There are yet more on Erwin Rd., across from Sam's Quik Shop. Sorry for the fuzzy pic -- I didn't realize I'd gotten a bunch of blackberry juice on half my lens.
My pal J and I picked a bit more than a quart last weekend. I made my portion into way-too-thick preserves with the following recipe:
3 c. blackberries
3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice.
Simmer until anything you spoon out onto a plate cools into a thick syrup. Then heat a little longer. Then discover that it cools down into something not quite spreadable.
Last summer on Vancouver Island, I made a different version using pectin, less sugar, and strained-out seeds. That's an easier and prettier version that also benefits from less sugar. Maybe I'll try that version with another round of Pettigrew St. berries.
A few years ago i picked about 2 gallons at work in Hillsborough. Since then the kudzu has pretty much taken over all of the blackberry vines.
Posted by: barry | Jul 20, 2007 8:59:04 AM
So what to do with some really-too-thick-to-spread blackberry jam? Spoon it into smallish balls and dip said balls in melted bittersweet chocolate. Then chill. Then serve. Oh yes, very good indeed.
Sorry I have no pix. We ate them too quickly.
And what's more, they were not the prettiest things, but I think I'll get better with the next batch. In my first batch, this go-round, I made the blackberry balls waaay too big, which made for an unpleasing (to me) ratio between filling and chocolate. In my second batch, I made the balls a little smaller, and waited until the chocolate was a little cooler, both of which made things better: less filling, thicker chocolate.
Sadly, this may be the only batch I make this year. The berries were very sparse during this week's drop bys at the blackberry patches. Or maybe they'll come back to life if we ever get any rain? Anyone know?
Posted by: Phil | Aug 7, 2007 2:27:10 AM