Frozen Berry Treat
(Editor's Note: This article was published on September 15, 208. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)
This fruity treat is delicious on Christmas morning alongside pancakes and sausage. It is also tasty on a hot summer day. Transform it into a scrumptious dessert by adding shortcake, whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.
Know as brambles by many, Blackberries and Raspberries are a varied group of species and hybrids in the genus Rubus. They are members of the Rosaceae family. Rubus is the blackberry. The Red Raspberry is known as R. strigosus. R. strigosus is treated as a subspecies of R. idaeus.
Blackberries do well where the summers are hot. Blackberry canes are not as cold hardy as raspberry canes and can often be difficult to grow in the north. It can take up to three years for a blackberry plant to produce to its full potential. The fruit ripens in July through September, sooner in the deep south. A few varieties of blackberry are 'Darrow', 'Black Satin' and 'Apache'.
- R. strigosus
Red raspberries are cold hardy, and they prefer climates with cool summers. Raspberries are easy care plants and fast growers. Like blackberries, they will take up to three years to reach their full potential. Most varieties ripen from June to July after a profusion of fragrant white blooms. 'Heritage', however, is a variety which produces a moderate summer crop followed by a heavier crop August through frost.
The Bush Berries
Blueberries. An interesting fact about blueberries is that they are native to North America. They are also high in antioxidants. Blueberries prefer a sunny location and thrive in acid soil. They do not produce well in areas where they do not receive a winter chill. When growing blueberries in alkaline soil , amend the soil by adding aluminum sulphate. Blueberries ripen from June through August. An attractive variety which can be grown in a container on the patio is 'Dwarf Tophat'.
Spring through summer berries
Strawberries do not require a large plot to grow. They can be planted in the garden, added to the flowerbeds or grown in containers. If you've never grown strawberries do not buy a large amount to plant the first time you buy. Some varieties which do well elsewhere in your area may not do well in your yard or gardens. Plant a few strawberries and monitor their growth. If they do well, then add more the following season. 'Ozark Beauty' is one of my favorite strawberries to grow. It is one of the everbearing varieties. It produces high yields of large, delicious berries. Everbearing varieties generally produce berries from June through September.
We are now ready to make Frozen Berry Treat. You will use a mix of four types of berries. Begin with frozen blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and red raspberries. There are many ways to alter this recipe. And you may use the berries you have on hand. You need not add all four types of berries to the dessert. Be creative and enjoy your version of this recipe. But remember, you must begin the recipe with frozen berries.
- One 16-ounce package of mixed, frozen berries
- Whipped topping (or vanilla ice cream)
- Shortcakes (purchased or homemade)
- Sugar (see note)
Note: you may sprinkle granulated or powdered sugar over the berries, if desired. My family prefers this recipe without sugar.
If you want to add frozen berries as a side dish at breakfast simply remove the berries from the freezer and place them in a bowl. Be careful not to bruise the berries. Mix them gently. Allow enough time before serving breakfast for the berries to thaw to the point that they are crunchy yet not frozen. Serve the berries in individual bowls.
To create Frozen Berry Treat you will need all the above ingredients or a combination of them. Be creative. Invent your own version of this dish.
Remove the berries from the freezer and thaw slightly. Place the shortcakes on a plate and spoon berry mixtures onto them.
After you place the berries into the shortcakes scoop whipped topping or vanilla ice cream on them.
Frozen Berry Treat with whipped topping. I hope you enjoy making and eating this treat as much as my family does.
All photos are from my farm kitchen