It's Freeberry season in the PNW and we have the perfect recipe… 

Sometime around 1885, Luther Burbank gave the Pacific Northwest the dubious gift of the Himilayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus). We only use the word "dubious" to keep those screaming about invasive species at bay since, locally, these juicy, delectable, dark-skinned wonders are considered a noxious weed and an invasive species. We can't really speak too much about this invasive species thing right now because our mouths are full of handfuls of berries… we'll get back to you later…

Every summer starting around the end of July and running through August, the great tangled clumps of prickly vines start to hang heavy with their ripened fat berries. Soon, the roadsides are dotted with folks holding shopping bags and plastic buckets full of purple/black globes and we are right there with 'em.
We eat plenty of the Freeberries fresh over vanilla ice cream, mixed with yogurt and granola, in pancakes and muffins and… what's that?


Yes. Freeberries.

What y'all call the Himilayan Blackberry, we affectionately call the Freeberry. Why? Well… because they're free!
Yeah, yeah… some would argue that the price one pays in tiny scratches from the thorny canes of the Freeberry is price enough to kill the "Free" part of the moniker. To that we say wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans and pop two or three in your mouth from time to time… you'll forget all about those thorns when the sweet juices run down your tongue and you start dreaming about a bowl of vanilla ice cream covered in delicious Freeberries.

Hang on a sec… be right back…

Okay… back now.

Pay no attention to those purple stains on my fingers. Nothing to see here.

Every season we put up a few jars of jelly, a few quarts of whole berries, and a few jars of syrup. This way, in the dreary days of winter, we have a reminder of summer every time we dip into a jar of Freeberry Jelly or take a warm bite of Jason's Freeberry Crumble with cold, sweet vanilla ice cream on top.

Oh my gosh… it's a good thing one of those crumbles is downstairs in the kitchen right now or this post just wouldn't happen.

Speaking of crumble… here's our recipe for Freeberry Crumble. Jason first made this 20 years ago when his parents were coming out to visit us for the first time. They were driving in that evening and we wanted to make dinner for them so we trekked down the street from our apartment in downtown Seattle and picked Freeberries right smack dab in the urban jungle. It was yummy then and it is just as yummy 20 years later.


Freeberry Crumble
1 qt. Fresh Picked Berries (frozen or canned will work just fine too)

3/4-Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

1/4-Cup Water

Zest and Juice of half a Lime (optional… but you really should)

3/4-Cup Quick Oats

1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2-Cup Brown Sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 Cup Softened Butter    

Wash fresh blackberries and place in large bowl. Add the Lime Juice and Zest.

In a separate bowl combine Water & Cornstarch, Pour mixture over the berries.

NOTE: If the berries you are using are particularly juicy, you can add another ½ Tbsp of Cornstarch. If they are, however, on the dry side, add ½ Tbsp less.

Sprinkle Granulated Sugar over Berry and Cornstarch mixture; Mix gently and let stand for several minutes while making the crumble.    

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl; mix well.

Cut in butter until crumbly. (You may use more or less butter.)

Pour blackberries into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle Crumble mixture evenly over the top.

Here's what ours looks like before going into the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until the crumble is browned, the filling is bubbly and the house smells so good you want to sing the “Berry Crumble Song” from the old country… What? Your grandma didn't sing that? Just me?

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

That's it for this edition of Cookin' With The Shibaguyz! Come back soon for more recipes, general food "stuff", gardening chat, and just about anything else we can think of to get into.

talk to you soon…
the Shibaguyz

We hope you enjoy the posts and recipes from the Shibaguyz and share our adventures with your friends. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest by clicking the icons below. 



08/08/2014 1:06pm

You guys are into everything. I love your blog, your recipes, your crochet stuff and your dogs!!! Thanks for sharing your lives.

08/09/2014 3:50pm

Okay. I made the crumble using fresh strawberries and blueberries. Looked good but it's in the oven right now. I'm sure it will be a favorite.


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