One of the greatest aspects about blackberries is the fact that they are so readily available. Although they are not as firm and resistant as blueberries, the blackberry offers a sweet taste and texture and has a number of health benefits as well. Unfortunately, blackberries do not keep particularly well and should be enjoyed at their ripest. This often means that you will have to accelerate the ripening process yourself.
Step 2: Apples and Containers
Take a large airtight container and add the blackberries. You should also add an apple to the container as these excrete a natural form of ethylene that helps other fruits to ripen quickly. Choose a small apple for this part of the process as they tend to have a higher concentration of ethylene. If you don’t have an apple available, a banana will do the job just as well.
Place the airtight container in a cool and dark room. A cellar or basement makes an ideal place to ripe your blackberries. Alternatively, a cool cupboard will suffice. You will only need to leave the blackberries for 24 hours as they have a tendency to ripen very quickly.
Step 2: Introduce to Air
Empty the blackberries from the container into a fruit bowl and leave them to sit overnight at room temperature. This will help the blackberries to breathe naturally and should serve to ripen them in a shorter period of time. Try not to let the blackberries ripen too much. This will make them squidgy and the juice will bleed from them, leading to a distinct loss of flavor and texture.
Step 3: Cut and Wash
Cut the blackberries away from the stem and wash the fruit gently under lightly-running water. To maximize the potential of the fruit, create portion sizes of two cups and add them to individual airtight containers. Each container should have a tablespoon of apple juice and small squeeze of lemon added before being placed in a refrigerator for safe keeping.
Cutting the blackberries away from the stems allows the apple juice to penetrate and age the fruit sufficiently while the lemon juice helps in preserving the flavor of your blackberries. This will give a stronger, fuller flavor to your blackberries.
Step 4: Green Blackberries
Green blackberries will need to be ripened thoroughly and the best way of getting them to mature quickly is by placing them in a dry brown paper bag and fold over the top of the bag to prevent air getting in.
Leave the bag on a worktop at room temperature and check the contents every 24 hours to see if the blackberries have ripened sufficiently. This process should be repeated until the blackberries are ready to eat. Be wary of the formation of mold. If you allow the blackberries to ripen excessively, they will soon develop a white, furry coating and these will need to be discarded.
Blackberries can be delicious on their own or make a great ingredient for a fruit pie. Enjoy with a helping of cream or warm custard.