12 blackberry and boysenberry recipes

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Make the most of summer with these blackberry and boysenberry recipes. Photo by Kim Daniels/Unsplash

Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park might be the only theme park in the world based on a farm — and that farm was founded on boysenberries and fried chicken dinners. It started in the 1920s when horticulturist Rudolph Boysen hybridized a raspberry, a blackberry, and a loganberry to create the boysenberry. Years later, Walter Knott cut some clippings from Boysen's berry vines, grew a bumper crop of the sweet-tart berries, and began selling them (along with fried chicken dinners) from a roadside farm stand. That stand eventually became Knott's Berry Farm. 

Maybe you already know all this history. Maybe you don't care. Maybe you just want to know what to do with summer's bountiful crop of blackberries and boysenberries. Read on!

Boiled down blackberries and fresh biscuits evoke poet Crystal Wilkinson's Appalachian childhood. Photo by Kelly Marshall


Biscuits with Blackberry Soup
This simple recipe, which comes from Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts, an exploration of Black Appalachia, is thinner than a compote and a perfect way to use fresh or frozen blackberries. "Fresh biscuits soak up the juices for a sweet, comforting breakfast. Or you can delight your guests by adding a dollop of whipped cream and serving it as dessert," Crystal Wilkinson writes. Get the recipe

Blackberry Crumb Pie
You can't go wrong with a classic. This blackberry pie comes from chef Carol Cotner Thompson, who has incorporated some of her favorite flavors: brown butter, brown sugar, vanilla bean, and orange flower water for an exotic, floral hint. The crumb topping does a good job of preventing the berries from completely disintegrating during the cooking process. Get the recipe

Gluten-Free Blackberry and Blueberry Pie
And now, a gluten-free blackberry pie recipe. You can thank Lena Kwak, the former Research & Development Director at The French Laundry, where she developed their gluten-free Cup4Cup flour. Get the recipe

Blackberry Peach Pie
This blackberry peach pie from Becky Reams highlights the beautiful bounty of summer's sun-kissed fruit, with a little help from some bourbon caramel. It's a fairly straightforward recipe that goes well with vanilla ice cream. Get the recipe

Blackberry Buckle
What is a buckle? It's a single-layer cake with a streusel topping and berries or other fruit mixed into the batter, which gives it a "buckled" appearance. It doesn't involve many ingredients, it's easy to make, and it usually turns out tasty, even if it doesn't look perfect. Get the recipe

Developed by Rudy Boysen and monetized by Walter Knott, who would go on to open Knott's Berry Farm, boysenberries are close cousins of blackberries. Photo by Martin Dawson/Unsplash

Blackberry Breakfast Casserole
Author Clifford A. Wright cooks delicious casseroles from around the world in Bake Until Bubbly: The Ultimate Casserole Cookbook. In addition to blackberries and the usual baking ingredients (flour, butter, eggs, etc.), this recipe involves bread, apples, sour cream, evaporated milk, cream of coconut, and maple syrup. Get the recipe

Frozen Blackberry Soufflé
Frozen soufflés, which you make by combining puréed fruit and whipped cream with an egg yolk custard or Italian meringue, are a great alternative to ice cream. To make one, you'll need to prep a souffle dish by lining it with wax paper. This video shows you how. Get the recipe

Blackberry Anise Hyssop Sorbet
When developing ice cream flavors for Sweet Rose Creamery, Shiho Yoshikawa is inspired by the seasonal fruits and herbs at farmers markets. She concocts unique combos like Elderflower Champagne Sorbet and Candied Cherry Ice Cream with Homemade Chocolate Chips. This recipe requires only four cups of blackberries but you need to start making it a couple days before you plan to serve it. Get the recipe

Raw Vegan Cheesecake Pie with Blackberry Coulis
This raw, vegan cheesecake pie was one of the first desserts that Dani Larson and Sophie Jaffe made together, and it took both of their unique palates to perfect it. The crust involves raw macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, and pecans while the "cheese" filling is made from soaked cashews. Get the recipe

Blackberry Vinaigrette
Whether you're pouring it on a bowl of mixed greens or topping a beet and goat cheese salad, Waterloo & City's blackberry vinaigrette adds a hint of sweetness to tart salad dressing. Get the recipe

Summer is the perfect time for boysenberry and blackberry pies, crumbles, cakes, and sorbets. Photo via Shutterstock


Evan Kleiman's Boysenberry Pie
"My relationship with boysenberries developed when I was a kid. To me a great blackberry is a boysen," Evan Kleiman writes. This recipe requires ripe boysenberries, she emphasizes. She also says, "Trust yourself. Don't measure the sugar. Let your mouth be your guide." Get the recipe

No-Bake Strawberry and Boysenberry Pie
It's a hot day and you're craving a fresh fruit pie but the thought of turning on the oven makes you want to break out into a sweat. A no-bake pie might be the answer. This one involves layers of glaze to help the fruit set. Get the recipe

People pick dewberries (blackberries), probably in Riverside, California, ca.1900-1920. Photo courtesy of University of Southern California Libraries and California Historical Society

Gustavo Arellano's Boysenberry Pie of Bigotry
"Can pies hate? This one does," writes Gustavo Arellano. You may know that Rudy Boysen developed the boysenberry from the pollen of raspberries, dewberries, Himalayan blackberries, and loganberries while he was a farmer in Napa in the 1920s. When he moved to Anaheim, he brought some of the seedlings with him but had no luck selling them to the public. Farmer Walter Knott eventually monetized Boysen's creation at a roadside stand where he sold berries, jam, and fried chicken. That pop-up eventually became Knott's Berry Farm. As for Knott himself, he used his millions to support various right-wing causes and founded the Lincoln Club, a powerful conservative PAC. As Arellano explains, "Boysen's idea of beautiful parks was reserved for white people only — Mexicans could only swim in Pearson's Park pool the day before the dirty water was dumped, and even segregated them." Get the recipe