Here at the Edible Schoolyard, we’ve begun to harvest our blackberries. Berries are best eaten right away, or within a few days. If not eaten right away, they can be processed into jam, cobbler, ice cream- or POPSICLES! You could also freeze some whole berries for use later in the winter.
It can be tempting to pick blackberries early, but since they don’t ripen after being picked, it is better to wait. Blackberries are ready for harvest as they turn plump and develop a deep purple, almost black color. If you are unsure, test one. A good rule of thumb is to grasp a berry between your fingers and gently pull. If the fruit comes off easily, it is ripe and ready to eat!
We had a large bucket of berries to use, and as it happens, our lavender flowers were ready for harvest as well. So, we decided to make blackberry lavender popsicles. You could use any combination you like: plain blackberry, blackberry-yogurt-honey, blackberry lavender, or mix a few different types of fruit together. Popsicles are really easy to make. Our recipe is below. Feel free to make any substitutions.
Blackberry Lavender Popsicles
2 heaping cups of blackberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
2-4 TBSP fresh lavender flowers, depending on your taste
- Make a simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a pan. Bring to a boil, and add the lavender flowers. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 5-7 min to infuse the syrup. Let the mixture cool.
- Meanwhile, process the berries in a blender until smooth. Strain berries in a fine mesh sieve or food mill to remove seeds. Add lemon juice, and combine with the cooled simple syrup.
- Pour into molds and freeze at least 4 hours, or overnight.