The thought of Blackberry Bourbon Dessert Sauce makes my stomach growl. I use the sauce on cheese cake, ice cream and apple pie as well as pancakes and waffles. Thicken the sauce a little more than the recipes calls for by stirring in confectionery sugar and you have a sweet and savory glaze for donuts, cookies and quick breads. This is fantastic over a lemon pound cake, muffins and sugar cookies.
To change up the sauce you can replace blackberry juice for diced fresh peaches, blueberries, cherries and other soft fruits. Fool around with the recipe to make it suit your tastes.
Originally, this was a recipe that called for whole blackberries but the dessert sauce was disappointing because of the seeds. I decided this week to give up on the whole berry and use juice. This is a nice dipping sauce for fruit and is an interesting addition to a cheese and cracker plate. Be creative! I’d love to hear how you use the sauce.
For a non-alcoholic version you can substitute apple cider for the bourbon.
SuOne of my joys of summer is blackberry muffins. This is a crazy, way above normal year for blackberries in spite of being in drought conditions. Water is so low that our friends have taken their boats out of the water because they can’t float. Why the blackberries are doing so well is a mystery to me. Some are huge, half the size of my thumb, and as sweet and juicy as can be. We’ll have our fill of blackberry muffins before the season is over. I like these muffins best with fresh blackberries. Frozen berries lose too much juice when the cell walls burst upon freezing so they don’t work well in this recipe.
If you’d like a paleo friendly alternative you can use blackberries in this paleo muffin recipe.
½ cup butter, room temp
2 cups unsifted flour
½ cup sugar
2 large chicken or 1 large duck egg
½ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups mildly crushed blackberries
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Blackberry Muffins Instructions
Cream the butter and sugar together until somewhat fluffy. I use half the sugar the original recipe calls for so it doesn’t get as fluffy as you might be accustomed to.
Add one egg and beat until incorporated, and then the other egg.
Add the milk and stir in.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add a little at a time to the butter, eggs and sugar. Don’t over beat (it makes the muffins too dense).
Fold in the blackberries by hand to avoid completely crushing them.
Butter the muffin tin, including the top of the tin. Fill each cup to the top. Not half full – these are blackberry MUFFINS, not muffins.
Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes.
Allow the muffins to cool in the tins for five minutes before removing. If they stick to the pan you can slide a butter knife around the edge.
After morning chores are finished and before it gets too hot I’m foraging wild food. I pack a half-bushel basket, a paring knife, cold water to drink, berry boxes and measuring cups with handles, a camera and a pair of tall boots in case I have to cross a small stream to get to the mushrooms. We’re going to pick one of my favorite mushrooms, Chanterelles. If I were to buy them, these mushrooms would cost $26 a pound, more than we can afford to pay considering how many pounds we like to put up for a year. Picking 20 pounds will fill our needs but this year that’s unlikely because it’s too dry. Fortunately, we do find a small patch in my favorite spot. They’re on both sides of the stream, tucked in near hemlock trees. Keep that in mind. If you’re looking for Chanterelles, look near hemlock trees.
I carefully choose two-thirds of the best mushrooms, cutting each stem just above the ground, and leave the rest. By leaving some I know there will be more; maybe not this year if it stays dry but next year. Nobody else has followed the trail along the stream to this spot. Lobster mushrooms are starting to come up. They are the dirtiest mushrooms we pick, covered in duff from the forest floor, but washable because of their density. These mushrooms are a great base for cream of mushroom soup.
I haven’t seen blackberries this abundant in 32 years. I remember it well because it was horribly hot that summer and I was hugely pregnant. We picked five quarts on August 8, the first ripe berries. Next week I’ll be counting gallons, not quarts. I’ll make jam and jelly, wine, tarts and maybe even ice cream. I’m blessed with an abundance of wild foods and the freedom to pick them. The timber investment companies that own the hundreds of thousands of acres that surround my home don’t care about this food. Raspberries are almost over, blackberries almost in full swing, and I think blueberries are about ready to pick now. I’ll be looking for blueberries next week.
Apple trees are either loaded or bare this year. It looked like there would be more than last year’s huge harvest but pollination must have been a little off as a lot of the small apples fell. Picking up dropped apples on country roads is similar to gleaning in agricultural fields.
I will fill freezers and jars by foraging wild food. By the time the ground has frozen we’ll have harvested wild foods throughout the growing season, from fiddleheads and Japanese knotweed gathered in spring, to berries and mushrooms picked into fall. This foraging wild food thing…you should give it a try if you don’t already. What do you forage? And how do you use what you find?