What are loganberries?
This summer berry is a cross between the red raspberry and blackberry, and was developed, by accident some say, in 1861 in Santa Cruz, California.
The berry is a pointed cone shape, and is a bit bigger than a raspberry. When ripe, the loganberry can be almost purple. It’s both more acidic and less flavoursome than a raspberry, so it tends to need a good helping of sugar. These particular characteristics mean it is also easily adapted to savoury use.
Loganberries have a notably high vitamin C content, and were once used by the British navy to provide this important preventive against scurvy. Like the blackberry and tayberry, loganberries retain their core when harvested.
How to cook loganberries
Although developed to be eaten raw, loganberries can be made into excellent jams and jellies, or added to other fruits in pies and pastries. However, don’t forget the sugar! They’re excellent, too, in sauces for game and duck, where the objective is a sweet-and-sour flavour.
Their superb colour and summery flavour are easily transferred to cider vinegar, vodka, gin or brandy – leave the whole fruit to macerate with the liquid in a sealed container for several weeks in a cool, dark place. Once the flavour is to your taste, strain through fine muslin, adding a touch of sugar, if you like. Some fine, pith-free orange zest is a good addition to the maceration process. Repeat if you like a stronger flavour.
How to store loganberries
The high vitamin C content means loganberries can last a long time after being picked, especially if they are refrigerated.
When are loganberries in season?
Generally through August and September. Because there are difficulties associated with machine harvesting, loganberries are not widely seen commercially.
Choose the best loganberries
Loganberries are not as soft as other berries, so firmness should not be associated with unripeness. The best test is to taste them: they should be sharper than other soft fruits.