This time last year we were playing in the local park. A group of children were picking small red berries from the bushes and eating them. I was a little alarmed, I’d always told the kids not to eat red berries because they were ‘bird berries’, that would make children sick.
The children’s grandmother told us that they were huckleberries . I’d heard of Huckleberry Finn and Huckleberry Hound but had no idea a huckleberry was a fruit. ‘They are quite sharp’ she told us ‘but they are really good in muffins’. We tasted them, they are a little like a sharp blackberry, perhaps not to everyone’s taste but I liked them in small quantities.
We headed back a few days later to collect huckleberries to make muffins.
As you can see from the picture the berries are quite small so it takes quite a long time to pick any substantial quantity. The berries have a strong flavour however, so you don’t need many to make muffins.
We followed this recipe and they were absolutely delicious. If you can’t get huckleberries then you can substitute blueberries, I would use a little less sugar if using blueberries.
The muffins were such a success that as soon as we spotted the bushes beginning to ripen this year, we collected as many as we could. Huckleberries can be frozen but you need to be quite dedicated to collect large quantities.
We took them home to bake into muffins. A delicious seasonal treat.