Okay folks, stay with me here – the Olallieberry, aka ollalieberry, olallaberry, olalliberry, ollalaberry or ollaliberry is a cross between a loganberry (a hybrid of blackberry/raspberry) and a youngberry (blackberry, raspberry and dewberry cross) that was developed in Oregon and also tested in California in the 1930s.
Turns out it doesn’t do well in the Oregon climate but thrives in California. “Olallie” means berry in Chinook, a prominent Native American tribe in Washington and Oregon were blackberries are abundant and grow wild everywhere.
What you are getting in your boxes this week – they are indeed the Olallieberry hybrid blackberries that do very well in our warmer California climate.
There are many things to do with blackberries, you can just enjoy them out of the box, throw a handful in a homemade vinaigrette style salad dressing, make a wonderful cobbler or crisp for dessert, or make a nice preserve to serve on ice cream or waffles/pancakes or save it for later when the blackberries are out of season. Here is a super simple Blackberry Preserve, that you can use now or save it for later by processing in a water bath canner. (For more information on preserving, go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation)
1 lb blackberries (4 cups)
2 cups of sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 T. Pectin (Sure-Jell)
If you are preserving, sterilize jars and lids (this recipe will make approximately 4 1/2 pints of jam). Prepare your hot water bath. Wash and sort though berries, eating any that are not firm and fresh. Add 2 cups of the berries to a large non-reactive pot and add half the sugar. Crush with a potato masher, top with remaining berries and sugar, toss and lightly crush again. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Place pot over medium heat, and bring slowly to a boil, stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat and cook about 30 to 40 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of Pectin and cook an additional minute, fill sterilized jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Add lids and rings and process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner if you are preserving, otherwise store in clean, sterile jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.