What to do with a boring blackberry

August 25, 2011 | By | Comments (4)

Not every plant we try out in the the Sunset test garden is a winner. In fact this thornless ‘Black Satin’ blackberry is kind-of of a dud—flat and insipid tasting. I guess the flavor went out with the thorns. Still, it’s nice and juicy, and when I strolled along our berry walk yesterday, where we’re trialing strawberries and blueberries as well, I was inspired to add a little test kitchen magic and create a simple garden berry ice cream sundae.


The boring but juicy thornless ‘Black Satin’ blackberry


Lemon verbena berry ice cream sundae

This recipe comes together in about the time it takes to soften ice cream enough so it’s scoopable.

Heat 2 tbsp. honey with a few small lemon verbena leaves or a strip of lemon peel in a saucepan just until bubbling. Take it off the heat, let it sit 5 minutes, then stir in 1 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice, a handful each of blackberries and strawberries, and a few blueberries. Let it stand 5 minutes for the  blackberries to suck up the sweetness of the honey, the tang of the lemon, and the aromatics of the lemon verbena. Then spoon over vanilla ice cream.

Berries in pan

  Berry sundae

Anybody have a suggestion for this other problem along the berry walk, seen here poking it’s brown head from its new home?
  Strawberries with slug


  1. shari


    October 27, 2011 at 4:09 am
  2. Elaine Johnson

    Kelly, the blackberry is ‘Black Satin,’ and Julie Chai, our senior garden editor, says that some people have reported liking it. Maybe it does need more heat, as you suggested.

    August 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm
  3. Ginger Hilgenberg

    Thornless blackberries grow quite well in our area (near Auburn,CA) and have flavor. Maybe they need the extra heat?

    I use saucers of beer to lure slugs out my strawberries. They “slide in” and never “slide out”.

    August 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm
  4. Kelly Marshall

    Can you tell us the variety of the blackberry, so we can avoid it?

    August 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

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