This time of year you must make the time to go to your local farm or farmer’s market and see what they have in fresh fruit offerings. Fragrant and tender to the touch peaches, and small yet full flavored “Tristar” strawberries, are two of my favorites. Both taste great and may remind you of how fruit tasted year’s ago. My first pick for this month, however, is blackberries as they are running great here and NOW. Fresh off the bush jumbo blackberries are so good you have to buy two pints as the first will likely be gone before you get home.
With blackberries, bigger is better, unlike local strawberries where generally the smaller berries are most sweet. Store them in the refrigerator, and do not wash them until just before you are ready to eat. There are lots of great recipes for blackberries, but try also serving them naked, so you best enjoy the incredible tangy sweetness.
Here is a simple yet fantastic recipe for blackberry pie, courtesy of PickYourOwn.com Check out PickYourOwn.com to find a farm near you!
LATTICE TOP BLACKBERRY PIE
3 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons butter
Combine flour, sugar and rind. Add to the berries. Using your favorite pie crust, line the pie tin. Dot with 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour in berries. Cover with a top lattice crust. Bake in a hot oven (400F) for 15 minutes. Reduce to 325F and bake 20 to 30 minutes more. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Tom Kovacevich is in the wholesale fruit and vegetable business in Philadelphia. His company, TMK Produce, distributes top quality produce to retailers and food service companies up and down the east coast. In 2008, Tom started a blog at BestFruitNow.com as a way to share his thoughts on what fruits are best each month. Geared for consumers, BestFruitNow.com also offers tips on how to select and prepare the fruits being recommended. An avid cook, gardener and all around foodie, Tom regularly travels the world meeting with growers ever learning more about his passion for fresh produce.