One of my favorite memories from the lazy summer mornings of my childhood was walking across the street in my pajamas (barefoot if Mama didn’t catch me) and picking blackberries from the edge of the woods. I’d take them back to the house, rinse them off in the kitchen, and then add them to my morning cereal. There is just nothing like fresh blackberries!
The students at the school where I teach live in urban neighborhoods and most of them, I discovered, have never had this experience. So when we spotted thousands of blackberries on the edge of the field where we spend recess, I just knew I had to take the moment to show my 1st graders a part of their neighborhood they never knew existed. We talked about the thorns and the love snakes have for these juicy berries. We talked about the difference between the red ones and the black ones and why we should leave the red ones alone. We talked about why it was crucial to have a grown-up check before you eat anything you find growing… Then we dove right into that Southern rite of passage known as blackberry picking.
As much as I love blackberries on my cereal, in my smoothies, on my ice cream, and in my cobblers, I wanted to get a little outside the box with this post. It is grilling season, after all, so why not put blackberries on our BBQ? This tangy blackberry BBQ sauce has chipotle chili peppers to give it a smoky kick, too!
To make the blackberry BBQ sauce, you combine blackberries, a chipotle chili pepper, tomato paste, brown sugar, garlic, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, and salt & pepper in a pot. Bring all the ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. As you stir, use a wooden spoon to crush the blackberries and the chili pepper to release all the flavors they have to offer. Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
Next, spoon the mixture into a fine mesh sieve and use the wooden spoon to press all of the liquid out into a bowl. Once all you have left in the sieve is the solid part, discard that. Serve the sauce however you want!
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 3 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 whole chipotle pepper
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries
- 1 clove garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
Crush blackberries and chipotle pepper as you stir.
Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.
Spoon mixture into fine sieve and press until solids are all that remains in the sieve.
Discard solids and serve sauce as desired.
Check out these other summer favorites!