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Tag Archives: Blackberries

Lemon Blackberry Swirl Pound Cake

Luscious Lemon Pound Cake with Swirls of berries for a perfect summer treat:A Slice Of Lemon Blackberry Swirl Cake 

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 ¼ cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup vegetable oil

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 cup fresh blackberries

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup sugar (for sauce)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk and combine the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.   Mix the buttermilk mixture with the dry ingredients until just combined.  Fold in the vegetable oil until evenly incorporated.  Pour into prepared loaf pan.  Allow batter to rest.

Core and wash the blackberries as necessary.  In a blender, blend the lemon juice, blackberries, water, and sugar.  Blend until smooth.  Take one ounce of the blackberry mixture, strain it, and drizzle lightly on top of the cake batter.  Use a toothpick to swirl into the batter.

Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Strain the remaining blackberry mixture into a sauce pan.  Add 1/3 cup sugar, and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Cool and set aside.  When the cake is done, let it cool on a wire rack.  Serve the slices with the blackberry sauce.

Recipe and Picture by Linda

Fresh Blackberry Cake

Head for the kitchen and reap the rewards of this delicious cake.

Blackberry Cake


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup buttermilk

1 ½ cups fresh blackberries

1 tablespoon soda

½  cup chopped pecans or walnuts

½ cup raisins (I use “golden”)


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add eggs, butter, buttermilk, and blackberries.  Beat 1 minute on medium speed of an electric mixer.  Stir in soda, pecans, and raisins; spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until cake tests done.

Yield:  one 10-inch cake

Recipe and Picture by Linda

Blackberry Lemonade

Treat your guests to lemonade with a deeper flavor.

Blackberry Lemonade with Mint Sprig Garnish


Muddle 2 cups blackberries with 2 cups simple syrup (recipe follows) in a pitcher.  Stir in 2 cups each fresh lemon juice and water; add ice and lemon slices.

Simple Syrup:  To make 2 cups simple syrup, bring 1 ½ cups each sugar and water to a boil, stirring until dissolved.  Let cool.

Yield:  8 servings

Adapted from the Food Network

Recipe and Picture by Linda

Growing Blackberries in Dallas

 Blackberry Class in our Blackberry Patch at Demonstration Garden

When Tim gets an idea in his head, you might as well step back and let him go.  A few years back, Tim set his eye on a row of unplanted soil at the Demonstration Garden. Next thing we knew, he was planting blackberries.  Four kinds: three with thorns and one without. (Guess which one won the popularity contest.)

blackberry patch looking south

 Up till now, I lumped blackberries in with blueberries. I have even picked black/blue berries in East Texas’ crushing heat and humidity. (Now I buy them at the farmers market.)  I assumed that blackberries, like blueberries, had to have only acid, sandy soil. 

But listen up here: We can grow blackberries in Dallas! If you amend Dallas’ heavy, alkaline clay with expanded shale, cottonseed, and compost, and plant in raised beds, you will have enough berries for all the pies you can eat.  Blackberries like lots of moisture and full sun; run a drip irrigation line down your row of plants. 

blackberry canes

If you look at a blackberry leaf, it doesn’t resemble the smooth oval leaf of a blueberry.  Turns out blackberries and raspberries are not true berries; they belong to the Rosaceae family and are kissing cousins with roses.  Maybe that explains those worrisome thorns.  The “berry” is actually a collection of many drupelets; each holds a seed surrounded by the luscious berry flesh.

Blackberries can’t decide whether they’re a perennial or a biennial.  The roots aren’t going anywhere (perennial).  But the top canes do a two-year production number before their curtain call (biennial).  The first year, the new canes “primocanes” grow vigorously but don’t have any flowers.  The second year the same canes, now called floricanes (flori=flowers), get busy housekeeping, have flowers and berries and retire.  Tim says to cut back all the blackberry canes that have produced in July –August, leaving the primocanes for next year’s crop.

Blackberry Primocanes

Which variety to plant? Tim planted these thorned blackberries:

‘Brazos’ was developed at Texas A&M and introduced in 1959.  Most of the thorned varieties have Brazos in their heritage.  The Texas standard for years, Brazos is a large, erect growing, high yielding blackberry.

‘Rosborough’ was released by Texas A&M in 1977.  It ripens just after ‘Brazos,’ and has firmer, sweeter berries and smaller seed.  ‘Rosborough’ is a large plant, disease resistant, and very popular throughout Texas.

‘Womack’ is the smallest of the TAMU releases, with fruit that is firmer and better quality than ‘Brazos.’  Also released in 1977, it performs best in Central and North Texas.  It is not recommended for southeast or northwest Texas. 

Tim planted one thornless variety, ‘Natchez,’ which in our small trial produced more than the thorned plants.  Released in 2007 from the University of Arkansas, ‘Natchez’ has firm sweet fruit and upright growth.  It ripens early and has good disease tolerance.

Natchez Blackberry

 Plant blackberries in the fall.  Tim suggests purchasing plants from Womack  Nursery in De Leon, Texas.  

Right now, I’m scouting the yard for a sunny spot to fill with blackberries this fall. 


Pictures by Starla

Buy local blackberries at farmer’s markets and use our recipes being posted yesterday and over the next few days to satisfy your cravings.  Next year maybe you will have your own producing patch!

Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Enjoy this colorful summer salad when blackberries are at their peak.

Salad Ingredients:                                             Spinach Salad with Blackberry Balsalmic Vinaigrette

8 cups baby spinach or mixed greens

4 oz. chevre, crumbled

1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted

1 pint fresh blackberries

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:

½ cup strained *blackberry juice

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon dried thyme

Pinch of salt and pepper

To Make Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette:  Whisk together all ingredients until well-blended.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Tip:  To make the *blackberry juice, just puree blackberries in a food processor or mash with the back of a spoon.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

Toss together spinach, chevre, walnuts, and blackberries.  Drizzle with the blackberry balsamic vinaigrette.

Recipe by Linda, picture by Starla

Smoked Turkey, Mozzarella, and Blackberry Sandwiches

Wrap these delightful little sandwiches and pack them for your next picnic! 

Smoked turkey, mozarella and blackberry sandwiches

2 cups fresh blackberries

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 pounds smoked turkey slices

½ pound smoked mozzarella cheese slices

12 white or wheat sandwich bread slices, toasted

3 tablespoons minced fresh sage or 1 dried sage leaf, crushed

*Toss together first 4 ingredients; let stand 30 minutes.

*Layer turkey and cheese on 6 bread slices.  Spoon blackberry mixture over cheese; sprinkle with sage.  Top with remaining bread slices. 

Yield: 6 sandwiches

Recipe and Picture by Linda

Learning In The Garden

Tuesday, April 7, the Denton County Master Gardener School came to Dallas to learn from the Dallas County Master Gardeners at The Earth-Kind® WaterWise Demonstration Garden on Joe Field Road.

Did you know blackberries have primocanes and  floricanes and perennial roots and biennial tops?

Tim Allsup and blackberry lessons

Have you ever grafted a Cherokee Purple Tomato onto a Celebrity Tomato?

Jim Teaching Tomato Grafting

Are you aware of the virtues of vermiculture?

Michele and Sue Teaching At The Dallas Demonstration Garden On Joe Field Road

We just can’t help it.  We love sharing  garden know- how with other gardeners.

Yearning to learn in the garden?  Future classes will be advertised on this blog.  Y’all come!


Pictures by Starla.

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