Cookbook:Blackberry

Blackberry
CategoryFruits

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The blackberry is a small, dark purple berry.

Characteristics

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Blackberries are made of many small seeded drupelets clustered around a central core. Unlike with raspberries, this core is not left behind on the plant when picking, and blackberries are solid all the way through.[1] When ripe, the fruits are shiny and deep purple to black in color.[2][3] They are very tart and produce a purple juice when crushed.

Varieties

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Since blackberry plants easily hybridize, there are many cultivars with more than one species in their ancestry.

  • Dewberries (R. caesius) are smaller than blackberries and can be distinguished by the white waxy coating on the fruits, which also usually have fewer drupelets.
  • Boysenberries were bred from blackberries, loganberries, and raspberries.

Seasonality

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Seasonality tables | Autumn | Winter | Spring | Summer | All year
Blackberry Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Northern hemisphere                        
Southern hemisphere                        

Blackberries reach their peak in the summer,[2][4] specifically July to August. In warmer climates, the season may start earlier and end later. For instance, the Californian blackberry season starts in May and ends in October.

Superstition in the UK holds that blackberries should not be picked after September 15, as the devil has claimed them and left his mark on the leaves. There is some value behind this legend, since wetter and cooler weather often allows the fruit to become infected by various molds including Botrytis. These molds can give the berries an unpleasant flavor and toxicity.

Selection and storage

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It’s best to buy fresh berries when they are in-season, as they are cheaper, riper, and more flavorful. Blackberries should be dry, firm, well-shaped, dark purple to black, and shiny—they will not ripen further after picking.[3] Avoid purchasing berries with juice stains, which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy. Soft, watery fruit that means the berries are overripe; dehydrated, wrinkled fruit means the berries have been stored too long.

The fresh berries do not keep long[1]—they should be stored in the fridge and eaten within a week after purchase. Moisture will increase spoilage, so store them in a single layer if possible.[2] For longer storage, freeze them in airtight containers for up to several months. After thawing, they will be most suitable for cooked applications since the freezing damages their structural integrity.

Blackberries may be eaten raw or prepared in a variety of ways, including both sweet and savory applications.[4] They may be made into sweet sauces and preserves,[1] mixed into fruit salad, churned into ice cream, used as garnish, fermented into wine, cooked into sauces, and more.[2] Baked goods such as cakes and scones may incorporate fresh or frozen blackberries—if using frozen berries, fold them into batter while still frozen.

Recipes

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References

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  1. a b c Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  2. a b c d Rinsky, Glenn; Rinsky, Laura Halpin (2008-02-28). The Pastry Chef's Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-00955-0.
  3. a b "What are Blackberries? (with pictures)". Delighted Cooking. 2023-12-25. Retrieved 2024-01-05.
  4. a b "Blackberries". specialtyproduce.com. Retrieved 2024-01-05.