Pickle Blackberries To Add Pizzazz To A Boring Batch

Skip the sugar and lean into blackberries' tartness by giving them a pickle. Despite the fact that lackluster berries are often the star of jams and jellies, taking a tangier approach is a great way to venture outside of your comfort zone and preserve berries in an unexpected way. Plus, let's face it, who doesn't love a good pickle?

Beyond cucumbers and onions, there's a huge opportunity for flavor when it comes to pickling fruits, specifically berries. Whether they're a touch under-ripe or waterlogged and tasteless, pickling fresh berries — frozen blackberries become mushy when thawed — will make mediocre morsels significantly more interesting. Yet, rather than rely on a long and lengthy fermentation, blackberries make the perfect candidate for a quick pickle, thanks to their porous texture.

In a process that's anything but complicated, once the blackberries have been cleaned, simply add them to a jar, and submerge them in the pickling liquid. As for what goes into said pickling liquid, the most basic versions can be made with equal parts of water and vinegar.

Feel free also to add a pinch of sea salt or sugar, some juniper berries or mustard seeds, pieces of ginger, a splash of fish sauce, or even citrus zest for added depth. Naturally, the longer the mixture sits, the stronger flavors will be — just remember that because the pickles haven't been canned, they'll only have a shelf life of about a month, at best.

Use the pickled berries to add zing to your favorite foods

Tart and tangy, pickled blackberries have a one-of-a-kind flavor. Boasting an intense sourness and almost funky undertones, the most marked feature of these juicy berries is their pronounced level of acidity. Yet, beyond their electric and mouth-puckering quality, pickling also draws out the fruit's natural sugars, which gives the berries a pleasantly mild sweetness.

Suitable for both sweet and savory dishes, the pickled berries can give even the most mundane salads, sandwiches, or oatmeals a major flavor boost. However, we recommend pairing them with dishes that are in desperate need of acidity. Cutting through richness, pickled blackberries are fantastic when served with all things dairy from savory goat's cheese to creamy labneh, even vanilla ice cream, or a luscious custard pie, should you want a more sweet and sour pairing.

Likewise, decadent dishes of fatty fish or savory game (like duck or venison) can also benefit from the fresh and floral berry pickles. But that's not to say that they aren't also wonderful when used to decorate charcuterie boards, muddled into cocktails, or even worked into berry-forward sauces.

With limitless ways to use these zippy blackberries, the next time you're questioning what to do with a bland bushel, don't hesitate to give them a pickle — you won't regret it.