What a difference 4 days make! We made a quick trip to watch our nephew compete in the Junior National Volleyball Championships and came home four short days later to a bounty of boysenberries. This is our first year of full production off our 3 thornless boysenberry plants, staked up to the fence along our driveway (making it a bit difficult to park during the blooming summer months!). They were just dripping with berries, yielding 8 pints upon our return. Every two days since then I am able to pick another 3-4 pints. So I have been getting creative with this boysenberry bonanza.
Not one to waste such deliciousness, and being short on time initially, I processed the majority of that first batch berries using the IQF method. IQF stand for individual quick freeze and involves placing the berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freezing them until hard. This allows you to pack them in a large Ziploc bag without them sticking to one another.
I also combined the berries with Blenheim apricots that I picked up at LJB Farms to make an apricot-boysenberry crisp for a 4th of July fete. Every year I get one lug of Blenheims and make the most wonderful apricot-vanilla jam. Blenheims ripen and have a limited window of time of about 10 days each June/July, so I have to watch closely for their availability. (I think someone needs to figure out a way to lengthen that season!!!)
But the real winners so far in my boysenberry fest were served at last Sunday’s family dinner. I made homemade boysenberry ice cream and boysenberry macarons. Not sure what got into me, as the weather was very hot and baking wasn’t really the smartest thing to do, but I had a yen for macarons, so there you go. I can think of worse things to do on a hot day but the end result, and a grateful family, made it all worth it.