Growing and Cooking with Blackberries

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I haven’t had good luck growing blackberries at home, but it seems straight forward enough to do, so I am planning to give it another go. The mistake I made in the past was not giving my blackberry plants enough space – they really need quite a bit as the plants can grow pretty large.

Blackberries require lots of light and soil that’s well-aerated, with good drainage. I do love the berries, so I’m going to find a good spot to plant some early next spring. In the meantime, though, I am lucky enough to have a u-pick berry farm not far from my home. So I picked some beautiful berries this afternoon, and used them in this custard for tonight’s dessert.

I roasted the blackberries first so that they’d give off some of their liquid and the custard would be firmer. The amount of sugar you should use really depends on how sweet your berries are. I found the 1/4 cup amount to be perfect, but if your berries are tart, I’d use 1/2 cup.

Recipe for Roasted Blackberries in Custard
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup organic heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons organic sour cream
  • 1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4-1/2 cup organic sugar
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean-optional

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Place blackberries in baking dish and roast for 15 minutes.

3. While the blackberries are in the oven, whisk the rest of the ingredients together.

4. Remove blackberries from the oven and carefully transfer them to a different baking dish (reserve the blackberry juice for another purpose, if you like). Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

5. Pour the custard mixture over the blackberries and return to the oven.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the custard is just barely set (a little jiggle in the center is ok). Allow to cool slightly and serve warm.

–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.

Photo credits: Winnie Abramson

 

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