8 Recipes You’ll Want to Have for Blackberry Season

Plump blackberries are ripe for the picking at your grocery store, roadside stand, or farmer’s market. The juicy fruit is in season from May to October, according to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, and is technically not a berry. Its proper classification would be an “aggregate fruit” forming from one flower, being composed of smaller fruits called drupes. We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to start calling it an aggregate fruit when making one of these eight recipes that will have you serving blackberry-filled dishes well into the fall.

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1. Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken with Blackberry Mustard

Take a break from your usual ketchup and mustard to try Eating Well‘s cornmeal-crusted chicken served with blackberry mustard. If this new mustard has you ditching your non-fruit-flavored store-bought version, you can try it with raspberries as well for another twist.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries, finely chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut in half crosswise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions: Mash blackberries, mustard, and honey in a small bowl until it looks like a chunky sauce. Sprinkle chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Place cornmeal in a medium bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat (discard any leftover cornmeal). Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook the chicken, turning once or twice, until browned and just cooked through, 6-8 minutes total (thinner nuggets will cook faster than thicker ones). Serve the chicken nuggets with the berry mustard.

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2. Walnut Blackberry Quick Bread

Change up your usual banana-walnut bread by switching the combination to this blackberry and walnut quick bread from Patty Mastracco for California Walnuts. Kept moist with lemon yogurt, an ingredient that gives the bread a bit more zing; you’ll need to refrigerate it after 3 days. This recipe makes about 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (6-ounce) container lemon yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh blackberries, coarsely chopped

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together sugar, milk, oil, extract, yogurt, egg, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Stir together dry ingredients and ¾ cup walnuts and add to bowl, stirring just until dry ingredients are incorporated (do not over mix). Carefully fold in blackberries and spread in prepared pan; sprinkle with remaining walnuts. Bake for 80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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3. Blackberry Salad with Candied Bacon

Savory and sweet, this salad from PBS won’t feel like “health food,” even though it has plenty of good-for-you ingredients — and a few not so good. So try to keep yourself from eating too much of the candied bacon. The salad serves between 4 and 6, and you’ll have leftover dressing from the vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick slices bacon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Slivered almonds
  • Additional fresh blackberries
  • Sliced grape tomatoes

Directions: Make salad dressing first. In a blender, combine the blackberries, garlic, mustard, and white balsamic vinegar. While the motor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue blending until mixture is well combined. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. It will make approximately one cup of salad dressing and can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

To make the candied bacon, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and then place a rack on top. Place the brown sugar in a shallow dish or on a plate. Swipe each piece of bacon in the brown sugar, really covering each piece well. Then, place each slice on top of the rack on the cookie sheet. Bake bacon for about 15 minutes, until bacon is crisp, dark, and beautiful. Let bacon cool completely. When bacon has cooled, chop up roughly with a knife and set aside.

Finally, prepare the salad. Place the greens in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle candied bacon on top, along with slivered almonds and whatever other salad toppings you like. Drizzle with dressing and toss well. Scatter blackberries over the top and serve!

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4. Blackberry Swirl Almond Cookies

You’ve probably made swirled cookies and pinwheels using food dye or chocolate, but with this recipe from Driscoll’s, you’ll get a thin stripe of swirl from your fresh blackberries. It comes from a fresh jam you will make with the berries before starting the cookies; the recipe yields about 2 dozen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package blackberries (6-ounce package)
  • ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons granulated or sanding sugar (optional)

Directions: Heat blackberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring and mashing berries with a potato masher (you should have about ½ cup). Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes, scraping down bowl several times. Beat in egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Gradually add flour on low speed, mixing just until blended, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Roll out to a rectangle about 12 inches by 8 inches, ¼-inch thickness, on a piece of parchment paper. Spread blackberry jam within 2 inches of edges. Roll up dough from long side into a tight log, using parchment paper to help lift dough. Tightly wrap dough log in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies ¼ inch thick. Arrange 12 cookies on each baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between cookies. Bake 13-15 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Sprinkle lightly with granulated or sanding sugar, if desired. Let cookies cool on pans for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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5. Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream

Didn’t get your fill of the lemon-blackberry flavor combination in the quick bread? We didn’t either, so we’re turning to dessert to find our fix. For a stunning, naturally colored frosting, make Southern Living‘s blackberry buttercream, then liberally swirl it onto these lemon cupcakes from AllRecipes.com, although you can’t really go wrong with whatever cake you choose for the buttercream. You will have approximately 2½ cups of buttercream.

Ingredients:

Frosting

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) package plus 1 cup powdered sugar

Cupcakes

  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 2½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

Directions: To make the frosting, beat first five ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.

For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line 30 cupcake pan cups with paper liners. Sift the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the unsalted butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one-third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first two additions of flour. Beat until just combined; do not over-mix. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter ¾ full and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.

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6. Baked Salmon with Blackberry Ginger Glaze

Keep your salmon recipes from going stale by infusing your collection with Sunny Anderson’s blackberry and ginger-glazed dish from the Food Network. Easy to make, round out this dinner for four with a salad, side of rice, or asparagus.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 12 ounces blackberries
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (8-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small saucepot over medium-high heat, combine water, blackberries, ginger, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until berries break down, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to push blackberry pulp through. Return blackberry mixture to the sauce pot, add sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from heat and let cool.

Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and set fillets on top. Brush fillets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Once blackberry mixture is cool, brush over salmon fillets and bake for 4 minutes. Brush again with blackberry mixture. Turn oven to broil and broil another 3 minutes.

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7. Blackberry Grunt

The name sounds unusual to our modern ears, but Fine Cooking says it reportedly comes from the noises made by the simmering blackberries. Serve this old-fashioned dessert with a large scoop of ice cream. It makes six servings, and with everything coming together on the stovetop, you won’t need to heat up your oven.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups blackberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Dumpling dough

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup buttermilk; more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar mixed with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: In a deep 10-inch skillet that has a tight-fitting lid, combine the berries, sugar, water, and zest. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Add enough of the buttermilk to form a soft, sticky dough that’s slightly wetter than biscuit dough.

Meanwhile, bring the berry mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring once or twice. Reduce to a simmer and, using a soupspoon, spoon the dough over the fruit, creating about eight small dumplings. Sprinkle the dumplings with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover the skillet tightly with the lid or foil and steam over medium-low heat, without uncovering, until the dumplings are set and the surface is dry when touched with a fingertip, about 15 minutes; check for doneness by gently breaking one open with a fork. Try not to remove the lid before 15 minutes, and if the dumplings need further cooking, quickly return the lid. Serve immediately, spooning the warm grunt into small bowls. Garnish with vanilla ice cream, if you’d like.

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8. Blackberry Compote

We’ve saved the best for last, as long as you define “best” as most versatile. Blackberry compote can be spooned onto waffles and pancakes, drizzled over your morning bowl of oatmeal, or mixed with ice cream. Keep Gourmet‘s compote (found on Epicurious) covered in the fridge for up to four days. It yields 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 or 4 whole allspice
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (1½ pints)

Directions: Bring water, sugar, juice, and allspice to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil until reduced to about ¼ cup. Cool syrup to lukewarm and discard allspice. Purée 2 cups blackberries with all of syrup in a blender. Force purée through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove seeds. Stir remaining cup berries into sauce.

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