Fruit of the Week: Blackberry

– Blackberries are related to rasberries, the main difference between the two is that raspberries have a hollow centre and blackberries do not
– Despite it’s name, the blackberry is not technically a berry, it is a fruit.
– Blackberries have been eaten by humans over thousands of years
– There are over 375 species of blackberry
– Native throughout Europe, northwestern Africa, western and central Asia and North and South America
– Blackberry shrubs can grow up to nine meters tall
– The shrubs have thorns that can easily tear through denim (so be careful when picking!)
– Blackberries grow very fast in woods, scrub, hillsides, hedgerows, wasteland, ditches, and vacant lots as they can tolerate very poor soil
– Certain caterpillars, as well as deer, eat blackberry leaves
– The actual fruit is eaten and seeds dispersed by foxes, badgers, and small birds
– In the United Kingdom and Ireland, harvesting the berries is a popular pastime
– However, in Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and the Pacific Northwest of North America, some blackberry species are considered an invasive species and a serious weed
– In some parts of the United States, wild blackberries are sometimes called “Black-caps”
– Blackberry shrubs bearing flowers yield a medium to dark, fruity honey

Blackberry Pie

Blackberry Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
4 cups blackberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Combine 3 1/2 cups berries with the sugar and flour.
3. Spoon the mixture into an unbaked pie shell.
4. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup berries on top of the sweetened berries, and cover with the top crust.
5. Seal and crimp the edges, and cut vents in the top crust for steam to escape.
6. Brush the top crust with milk, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
8. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
9. Cool on wire rack.
10. Enjoy!

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