Blackberries without the seeds

Find several simple, but unique recipes that let you enjoy the flavor of blackberries without the seeds.

Blackberries: lots of flavor, and lots of seeds.

He'll take his blackberries without the seeds, please

Summer is almost here, and around here that means blackberries. Our road is lined with prickly brambles that yield fat juicy blackberries. The wild berries aren’t quite as big as commercial ones, but they have a wonderful flavor, and of course they are free.

Our berry season begins around middle of June, and can last almost until August when the weather cooperates. During those weeks it is a common sight to see me out there at sunup dressed in long sleeves and pants, despite the summer heat. I will have a gallon bucket for collecting, and purple hands. I may even have purple lips!

We eat a lot of blackberries over the summer, besides the ones that never make it into the bucket. Of course, you do not have to risk the brambles to enjoy the wonderful flavor of blackberries. Your local fruit farm is sure to have some already picked ready for you to purchase.

Blackberries are full of summer flavor, but they also are full of seeds. The berries make terrific pies, cobblers, jam, and other standard berry fare, but some, my husband included, are put off by all those seeds. Even if you can not tolerate the seeds, you can enjoy the flavor. Here you will find some of our favorite recipes that allow you to enjoy this summer berry without getting seeds stuck in your teeth.

A common weekend breakfast in our home is pancakes. During berry season you can count on the pancakes being topped with blackberry syrup. Yum! Start with some good homemade pancakes:

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C buttermilk (The real thing is best, but in a pinch add 1 TB lemon juice to 1 C milk. Let it sit for a minute or two.)
1 TB margarine, melted
1 egg

Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg, and add the milk and melted margarine. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir until smooth with a whisk. Cook on a hot griddle or pan.

Then add the syrup, and if you really want a treat, a bit of real whipped cream!

Blackberry Syrup

Put 4 cups of berries, 4 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for about 15 minutes. Strain.

This will produce a thin syrup. The nice thing about a thin syrup is that the flavor really soaks into the pancakes. If you prefer a thicker consistency bring the strained syrup back to a boil, and simmer for awhile longer.

For something unique try a refreshing summer beverage called Blackberry Shrub. It is tart, but sweet making it a favorite lunch beverage around here on those hot summer days.

Blackberry Shrub

4 quarts blackberries
1 quart vinegar

Mash the berries and cover with vinegar. Allow to sit overnight. Strain. Put in a large pot, and add 2 ¼ cups sugar for each pint of juice. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes. This makes a concentrate that can be added to water. Use about two tablespoons per glass, or ¾ a cup of shrub concentrate in two quarts of water. I also like it mixed into iced tea. Mixed with ginger ale, or lemon lime soda, it makes a great party punch.

Summer dinners are often just salads made with produce straight from the garden. There is no better way to enjoy that salad than with homemade blackberry vinaigrette, especially when you’ve made your own blackberry vinegar.

Blackberry Vinaigrette

½ C olive oil
½ C blackberry vinegar (You can buy and use raspberry wine vinegar if you don’t have the blackberry vinegar.)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Put all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well.

Blackberry Vinegar

Making your own blackberry vinegar is not hard, but there is some waiting involved.
In a large bowl place 9 cups of berries. Add water, just to cover. Add 1 cup sugar, stir, and mash up the berries. Pour into a sterilized gallon glass jar. Do not seal, but cover the opening with a towel or other cloth. Secure the cloth into place by stretching a rubber band around the mouth of the jar. Set the jar in an out of the way place, and wait. It will form what is called the “mother” on top. It looks terrible, but this is what turns the mixture into the vinegar. When the mother falls to the bottom the vinegar is done. Strain the liquid and store in bottles. The whole process takes around three months, though I’ve let mine sit longer with no harm.

I can’t wait for flavorfull blackberries. I can’t wait to eat them fresh, use them for pies, cobbler, and jam. My husband could do without those seedy delights. He will, however, enjoy the recipes that don’t include the seeds. Whether you pick your own, or buy them already picked, be sure to partake of this delicious summer berry this year!