Each week I chat with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show about Bible foods & herbs. Today we talked about bramble berries, like blackberries and raspberries.
Luke 6:44-45 -
For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit….for figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush…”
One of the first things people notice in the Middle East is the large number of thorny plants: briers, brambles and thorn bushes are common. Scholars think the brambles are from a kind of raspberry, which are members of the rose family. They grow abundantly in Palestine and other Bible lands, along roadsides and in fields. I always think of the crown of thorns when I pick bramble berries.
Back in Bible days, berries were wild – native to the region but growing wild and not yet domesticated. And think of how thorny they were, nothing like what we cultivate today. The plants were actually used as barriers to keep enemies and animals out.
The berries would have been much smaller than what is available today. I have thornless blackberries in my garden, but I still like to go along the woods and railroad tracks and gather wild berries. The wild berries remind me more of the Biblical berries and when you have to work a bit to get them.
Berries have lots of antioxidants, and fiber, vitamin C, among other nutrients. Plus they contain a lot of water which is good for hydration.
HEAVENLY RASPBERRY PIE
An easy stovetop version of a classic fruit pie. The reader who shared the recipe said “heavenly” fits the description to a “T”!
Baked pastry shell
5 cups fresh raspberries in all: divide into two, 2 cup measures and one 1 cup measure
3/4 cup sugar or bit more to taste
1/2 cup cold water
3 tablespoons each: fresh lemon juice and cornstarch
Garnish: Whipped cream
Stir together 2 cups berries, 3/4 cup sugar, water, lemon juice and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly, then lower heat to a simmer and cook and stir 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
After chilling, fold 2 cups of remaining berries into mixture. Pour into pastry shell and chill a couple of hours or until firm. Serve with whipped cream and extra berries.