We're still weeks away from berry season in Oregon, but before I can plan for the new season's bounty I have to use the last of the old. While we always end up with more blackberries than we need, we've found ways to guarantee they won't go to waste. The blackberry bonanza begins early in the season with the fabled Marionberry. Then comes the harvest of wild Himalayan berries, the fruit of a pernicious weed intent on strangling anything in its path. These berries are free for the taking from bushes that line roads and highways in rural, and not so rural, areas of the state. They make great jams and jellies. Late in the season, my favorite, the lusciously sweet and nearly seedless Chester berry takes a bow and it's time to put by syrups and cordials for the holidays. Today's recipe can be made using any cane berry. I love to make it with the last of my frozen Chester berries. It takes 10 minutes to assemble and it's as healthy for you as any dessert, save fresh fruit, can be. I think you like this homely treasure.
Old-Fashioned Blackberry Pudding
1 pound blackberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 large egg
1/3 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup self-rising flour
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 5 8-ounce custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Place berries, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl. Lightly toss until thoroughly combined. Spoon an equal portion of berries into each custard cup. Set aside.
3) Place egg and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with a fork or small whisk until combined. Add butter and milk. Stir to combine. Sift in flour and fold to form a smooth batter.
4) Cover fruit with batter. Bake in middle of oven until top is firm and golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until lukewarm. Sprinkle with crystallized sugar if desired. Yield: 5 servings.
Cook's Note: To make a self-rising flour sift 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt with 1 cup all-purpose flour.