Glossary

Loganberries ripening on a loganberry bush

Loganberry

Pronounce it: low-ghin berree

This summer berry is a cross between the red raspberry and the blackberry and was developed, by accident some say, in 1861 in Santa Cruz, California.

The berry is a pointy cone shape a bit bigger than a raspberry and when ripe can be almost purple. It is both more acidic and less flavoursome than a raspberry thus 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, these berries retain their core when harvested. 

Availability

Generally through August and September; because there are difficulties associated with machine harvesting, loganberries are not widely seen commercially.

Choose the best

Loganberries are not as soft as many other berries, so do not associate firmness with unripeness. Tasting is the only test, remembering they are sharper than many other soft fruits.

Store it

The high vitamin C content means loganberries are good lasters once picked. Refrigeration helps, of course.

Cook it

Although developed to be eaten raw, loganberries make excellent jams and jellies and can be added to other fruits in pies and pastries, but sugar is always a prerequisite. They're excellent, too, in sauces for game and duck when the objective is something sweet and sour.

Their superb colour and summery flavour are easily transferred to cider vinegar, vodka, gin or brandy; simply let the whole fruit macerate with whatever your choice is in a sealed container for several weeks in a cool, dark place. Once the flavour is to your taste, strain through fine muslin. Add 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.