If you have never grown blackberries, this is one of the easiest and most satisfying berry to grow. I started with one “cane” or stem of a thornless blackberry variety some years ago and it grew to be one ginormous mass of a plant. Taming the canes by growing them on a trellis of cattle fencing has produced endless quarts of blackberries every July and August.
Blackberries and other berries bear fruit on second-year growth, so the canes sprouting now will yield next year’s crop. After picking the last berries of the season, I remove all the older canes that just produced fruit by cutting close to the ground, to allow new canes that will produce to grow for next season.
The tips of the canes will root in and produce more progeny so it is important to prune it back vigorously. Besides mulching around the plants, there is nothing else to be done for this self-reliant plant.
When late July rolls around, that means plump juicy blackberries are ready and waiting. I am looking for ways to use them as I pick about a quart a day and we can’t eat them fast enough.
While picking, my border collie helps by eating all the lower hanging blackberries. She picks alongside me and gets to keep them all!
I will freeze some but I love to use them fresh and they are classified as a “superfood“, full of antioxidants and other good stuff. I use them as a garnish for green salads, a topping for yogurt and granola, pies, jam, sorbets, and cobblers.
I tried some Blackberry Lime jam this winter and enjoyed the tangy taste so much I came up with this Blackberry Lime Cobbler. Baked in a cast iron skillet, it makes for an easy cleanup.
Blackberry Lime Skillet Cobbler
A delightful citrusy Blackberry juicy tart in a skillet. Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe for Blackberry Buckle, I have added lime extract, grated zest and lime juice to ramp up the flavor
- 1/2 C Butter (1 stick unsalted)
- 4 C fresh Blackberries
- 1/4 C Sugar to sprinkle on Blackberries
- 1 C Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch Kosher salt
- 1 C Milk
- 1 tsp Lime extract
- Grated lime zest from 1 lime
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp Sanding sugar
Creme fraiche, whipped cream, or ice cream, for serving
Gather ingredients and have 4 Cups of fresh Blackberries on hand
Melt butter stick in a 10" or 12" cast iron skillet, or an oven safe skillet
Grate lime zest from one lime into bowl
Place blackberries in a large bowl and mash lightly with a fork or potato masher; sprinkle with 1/4 C of sugar and squeeze lime juice from lime into blackberries; Let sit while the berries steep in the lime and sugar combination
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar, milk, lime extract; mix until combined. Add melted butter to flour mixture and lime zest; stir until combined.
Pour mixture into hot skillet and add blackberries and their juices into the center. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake skillet in 350 degree oven until top is golden brown for 50 to 55 minutes
Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream