A question about a recipe: Strawberry Balsamic Spoon Cake with Poppy Seeds

I have a question about the recipe "Strawberry Balsamic Spoon Cake with Poppy Seeds" from Alexandra V. Jones. Strawberry season is over... Any suggestions on what other berry might work?

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15 Comments

Alexandra V. July 21, 2018
Any one that you have! I've made it with stone fruit as well.
 
Michelle July 21, 2018
Thanks for responding so quickly (and to all the others for the botany lesson!!). I'm swimming in sour cherries and blueberries right now, so I'll try one or both of those. I just wasn't sure how they'd go with the balsamic...or how well they'd macerate. I'll find out!
 
702551 July 21, 2018
Personally, I would be keen on trying sour cherries.

Traditionally made balsamic vinegar undergoes a pretty comprehensive barrel aging program and often the vinegar is rotated between barrels made of various kinds of wood. Usually cherry wood is one of the wood types used in the barrel battery.

If you are uncertain, you could try dipping a sour cherry into some balsamic vinegar and taste.

The higher acidity of the sour cherry puts it more closer to strawberries than regular cherries.

Anyhow, have fun with this and best of luck.
 
Smaug July 21, 2018
Well, while we're being pedantic this would fall more under horticulture than botany... The more important question is why does everyone else have sour cherries? I've got to get a tree.
 
creamtea July 22, 2018
Wish I could swim in sour cherries! They are extremely expensive here; I usually spring for a small box or two.
 
Smaug July 21, 2018
I think the rose family berries- raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries etc. would make the best substitutes, but strawberries are by no means out of season. Frozen berries would probably work as well- there'd be a lot of liquid, but you get that macerating the berries too.
 
702551 July 21, 2018
In the absence of strawberries, I'd probably use loganberries which I believe are a hybrid cross of blackberries and raspberries.

However, the loganberry season is way shorter than the strawberry season around here, so there's no way that I would find loganberries but not strawberries.

Moreover, loganberries and all of those bush berries that you mentioned are *WAY* more expensive than strawberries. That would be one spendy pie, but very tasty I'm certain.
 
Smaug July 21, 2018
I believe you're thinking of Tayberries as far as being a hybrid, but Loganberries would be good. I'd probably go with Olallieberries because it's more fun to say, but you're right about availability- strawberries are much easier to come by than any of these others. My Safeway even had some that smelled like strawberries the other day, unheard of for them- it may have been some sort of spray on scent (this is a joke, but barely).
 
702551 July 21, 2018
Time to geek out on botany! Here's a summary of what Wikipedia says about olallieberries.

Olallieberry is a cross between blackberry 'Black Logan' x youngberry. The former was developed by Judge James Logan; the latter by Byrnes M. Young. (I am not making this stuff up). The olallie was developed by USDA-ARDS and Oregon State University (their horticulture department has done a lot of work on berries).

The loganberry is a blackberry-raspberry hybrid accidentally created in 1881 by Judge Logan in Santa Cruz, California.

I'm rather partial to loganberries myself and it's fun now knowing that they were developed locally (to me).

Hmmm, maybe I should try growing some loganberries (a piece of local horticultural history) next year...
 
Smaug July 21, 2018
Great, now you made me pull out a book; hadn't heard that the Logan was a cross, but Bailey has it as a cross between the Aughinbaugh (a blackberry variety) and a Red Antwerp raspberry. Also mentions a couple of Black/ras crosses- the Primus and the Phenomenal- developed by Luther Burbank that apparently lost the market fight to the Loganberry, a more practical commercial crop. It lists Salem Oregon as the center of the industry, but that was some time ago.
 
702551 July 21, 2018
Ah, good ol' Luther Burbank, glad to see his name pop up again.

Salem and Corvallis (home of Oregon State) aren't far apart. A lot of modern berry horticulture was developed by the USDA-ARDS/Oregon State University partnership.

Curiously, someone staffing one of the berry stands (Prevedelli) at the farmers market here said that olallieberries weren't being grown on the property since the crop had basically fallen on tough times here on the West Coast. Not sure if this meant to indicate some sort of predatory insect or micro-organism, but this fellow implied that no olallieberry cultivar was thriving in the current environment.

Sad, I sure do miss olallieberries, but the logans are pretty good right now.
 
BerryBaby July 22, 2018
My favorite is the Marionberry, another OregonState discovery. A cross between a Chehalem and Olallie and it is tasty! Real short season so you can't blink or you'll miss it!
 
702551 July 22, 2018
For Smaug, BerryBaby and an other botany geeks, there's an interesting pedigree chart on Wikipedia's marionberry page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marionberry

sort of like a family tree.
 
C S. July 23, 2018
There is an Olallie lake in the Oregon Cascade mountains. I'm betting the berry was named for that. I don't know the berry but I do know the lake. What a fun thread.
 
702551 July 21, 2018
From the author's headnote: "Feel free to use whatever berries you have on hand!"
 
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