SAN DIEGO. Aug. 16, 2016 – If scrumptious black berries are available close to home or at the local grocer, whether fresh, frozen or dried, they are a summertime must!
Native to Quebec, North Dakota, south Arkansas and Georgia, black raspberries are produced primarily in Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Sometimes known as wild black raspberry, black caps, black cap rapsberry, thimbleberry and scotch cap, the rubus occidentalis is a deciduous shrub that bears dark purple-black fruits during the summer months which are rich in anthocyanins.
Because black raspberries are richly dark in color, they are often mistaken for blackberries.
According to HuffPost, one method for telling the difference between black raspberries and blackberries is to compare their cores. Blackberries have a white core, whereas black raspberries are hollow in the center,
like red raspberries.
Boasting a gentle, sweet taste, black raspberries are delicious in recipes and on top of ice cream, great in purees and juices, and a primary ingredient in Chambord Liqueur Royale de France and South Korea’s
various kinds of Bokbunja.
Or, simply enjoy a handful fresh-picked.
The following black raspberry cobbler, published in SavingRoomforDessert.com (with recommendations added for special diets) , will surely delight the palate at the end of a summertime meal:
Black Raspberry Cobbler
Ingredients for the Berry Mixture
6 cups black raspberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cut boiling water
1 tablespoon butter (or butter substitute)
For the Shortcake Biscuits
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
3 teaspoons baking power
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt alternative)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ pieces (or butter substitute)
3/4 cup buttermilk
coarse sugar and milk for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large saucepan combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 3/4 cup of boiling water. Warm over medium-high until the mixture toils, cook for 1 minute or until it starts to thicken. Add the
black raspberries and stir entirely. Heat until the berries are hot. Do not boil or overcook. You don’t want the berries to completely break down.
3. Pour the berry mixture into a 9-inch cast iron skillet or other deep baking dish. Dot with the 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.
4. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Some chunks of butter the size of peas is okay. Add the buttermilk and stir to combine.
5. Drop scoopfuls of dough on top of the berries.
6. Brush the biscuits with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned and the berries are bubbly. Cool slightly before serving.
Note: Shortcake biscuit topping inspired by a recipe in the Betty Crocker Cook Book circa 1950.
Called the king of berries, black raspberries are extremely high in antioxidant levels, relative to free radical absorption, so they are known for their ability to prevent premature aging and mental decline.
Antioxidants help to prevent many forms of cancer, reduce risks for heart disease and stroke, and might hold a key in staving off Alzheimer’s.
With only 60 calories per delicious cup, fresh black raspberries are hard to beat as a summertime favorite and fruit of choice.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!