Citizens, given yesterday’s huge news out of North Dakota about the Dakota Access Pipeline victory for the First Nation Standing Rock Sioux, I have decided to share a rare twofer recipe day with you! First, a North Dakota classic pie recipe made from a most unusual berry!
Juneberries, Service Berries or Shadbush are plentiful in ND, are possessed of blue-black, round berries, which turn red before they ripen, are about ¼ – 1/3 inch across, about the size of blueberries (which they resemble). They even have the crown-frilled opening on the end away from the fruit stalk. Inside are soft, teardrop-shaped, reddish-brown seeds that have a nutty, almond flavor.
Juneberries are a great surprise the first time you try them. With no similar commercial relatives, these delicious berries, related to apples, are quite unique.
Although they’d been sold in the marketplace in the past, they’re almost completely forgotten today. The fruit has a strong, sweet and penetrating flavor, a little like pears. Note that they contain pectin, so you don’t need much thickener.
If you don’t live in North Dakota or a region with wild juneberries and wish to make this fine recipe with authenticity, you can buy live plants here to grow your own. Failing that, I offer a substitution of several more easily-obtained mixed berries with a hit of almond extract as the best substitute. I of course also include a killer pie crust recipe as well for your enjoyment! My own touch to the recipe – I used coarsely chopped hazelnuts in the crumb topping, but feel free to try it with the classic almond instead!
Battle on – The Generalissimo