When Berry Seasons Collide....strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, oh my!

This past Saturday, sour cherries and raspberries made their debut at Market and while the season is almost over, strawberries are still abundant. While cherries are technically a fruit and not a berry, we can fudge a little! All of these juicy red and pink little globes of Wisconsin goodness are perfect together, so take advantage of this fleeting moment!

Sometimes the best things in life are the most simple. Enjoying a bowl full of washed and sliced strawberries, raspberries, and sour cherries with some fresh homemade whipped cream is one of the pure and simple treats of early summer. The tartness of the sour cherries combines with the sweetness of the strawberries and the complexity of raspberries in a way that is unparalleled. Make sure to pick up some pure Wisconsin maple syrup for the whipped cream!

If you want to try your hand at something a bit more involved, here are some tried and true ways to capture the sweet moment when fresh berries are abundant.  

1.  Jam! Jam is one of the most perfect ways to preserve the bounty of summer fruit because it so versatile. Not just for toast, in the winter months, we love to put a dollop of our homemade jam in plain yogurt for breakfast, on top of ice cream, or on top of some homemade panna cotta. Homemade jam completes a cheese plate and serves as a great base for homemade BBQ sauce for the meats you pick up at Market.

Whether you prefer traditional strawberry jam or creative flavor combos - strawberry, lime, vanilla jam, anyone? - strawberry jam is a staple. But don't stop there....honey-sweetened raspberry jam lets the pure taste of raspberries shine thru and sour cherry jam is kind of like happiness on a spoon.

If you are feeling intimidated by the canning process, freezer jam might be your jam!  Because it is often not cooked, freezer jam retains the pure flavor of the fruit.

2.  Salsa! Great served with grilled chicken or on top of a pile of leafy greens from the Market, berry salsa is a wonderful way to incorporate berries into more savory dishes. An easy berry salsa is as flexible as it is delicious, simply use whatever berries you have on-hand, and don't forget to pick up some fresh herbs at Market.  Cilantro and basil pair particularly well.   

3.  Pie!  Fruit-filled pies are a delightful way to celebrate berry season. The first step is finding your 'forever' pie crust recipe - that recipe from which you will never deviate. This one has been called life changing. If you don't feel like futzing with pie crust, a good graham cracker crust pairs well with summer fruits. Or you can always skip the crust, and just throw some crumble on top.  Wisconsin oats and hickory nuts, both available at Market, make a delectable crumble.

Next step, let your creative juices flow! What's your favorite combo? A traditional cherry pie, a mixed berry pie, or perhaps a strawberry basil lemon pie? Usually, a mixed berry galette or my mom's (super easy!) strawberry piefind their way to our Fourth of July celebrations.

Have a berry wonderful holiday weekend!