It’s berry season in Kentucky

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jennifer Howard

It is berry season in Kentucky. At the Winchester-Clark County Farmers’ Market, several of our growers have blackberries available.

Blackberries, along with raspberries, are known as brambleberries. They get that name from the thorny, tangled vines they grow on. In Kentucky, they are harvested from June through August.

You can eat berries raw, use them as a topping or serve them as an ingredient in many dishes. You can also preserve berries through canning or freezing, and use them to make jams and jellies.

Blackberries provide fiber and are a good source of potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. One half-cup serving of berries also contains only 35 calories and has zero fat.

When shopping for berries, look for plump fruit that is uniform in color and appears fresh. Berries should be free of stems or leaves.

Avoid fruit that is moldy, crushed, bruised or contains extra moisture.

Store berries unwashed and covered in the refrigerator and use within two days for optimum flavor and texture.

A couple of weeks ago my weekly column featured peaches.

This weeks’ recipe combines blackberries and peaches for what will quickly be a family favorite dish.

Blackberry Peach Crumble

— 2 cups fresh blackberries

— 2 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches or 1 bag frozen peach slices, thawed

— 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

— 2 tablespoons cornstarch

— 1/3 cup, plus 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

— 1/2 cup all- purpose flour

— 1/4 teaspoon salt

— 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Combine blackberries, peaches, lemon peel, cornstarch and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a large bowl. Pour well-mixed ingredients into a lightly greased 8 inch baking dish. Mix flour, salt and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle flour mixture over fruit. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes prior to serving. Yield: 8, 1/2 cup servings. Nutritional analysis: 220 calories, 9g fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 3 g fiber.

For more information on ways to prepare in-season, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682 or visit us on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark/

Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for family and consumer sciences.