Last weekend I went berry picking with a friend of mine at an organic place up in Markham. Our goal was raspberries but we were also hoping they’d have blackcurrants, which are my favourite. As has been typical this summer, thunderstorms were threatening that day so we were hoping the rain would hold off until we could pick enough.
And, in fact, we got in over four hours of picking before the skies opened. Between us (and her husband’s help for part of the time), we gathered two baskets of blackcurrants (they are slow picking!) and 12 of raspberries. Check out the haul (including some green beans and butter tarts we bought from the farm stand):
As I’m lacking in the deep freeze department I made all of my blackcurrants and many of my raspberries into jam, which for some reason I took no pictures of. Blackcurrant jam is super easy, as they’re naturally high in pectin so you don’t need to buy any Certo to help them set (which is what I usually use for other jams). I used the recipe from my Edmonds cookbook but with less sugar. I ran out of sterilized jars so also did a jar for right-away eating of a blackcurrant-raspberry blend, which is pretty damned good.
I froze some of the raspberries for later, but I also made some amazing raspberry “breakfast” bars from Smitten Kitchen (of course). They’re easy to make and travel well, so they’d be good for a potluck or party. As far as adaptations go, they worked with part whole wheat flour and if I were to make them again, I’d use more raspberries (maybe an extra half?) and cut back a bit on the crust. They might be messier that way but I think they’d be more flavourful. I also cut the sugar out of the raspberry layer completely and cut the sugar in the crust to 2/3 cup.
And now that I look at her picture, her raspberry layer looks thicker than mine did. I measured the berries by weight as suggested, but for reference, it was just over 2 cups that I used of slightly crushed berries.