In July, right about this time, a little known but wildly delicious berry becomes ripe for the picking. Though a relatively new commercial crop for the US, the Saskatoon berry is gaining in popularity among chefs, jam makers, and fruit lovers everywhere. This is in part due to its versatility. The berry, which resembles a blueberry, but is actually a pome fruit like the apple, grows on a shrub-like bush reaching nearly 10 feet in height. Eaten fresh, the smooth skin of the Saskatoon is slightly taught and the inner flesh, sweet and even. They are superb in salads and smoothies and stellar in baked goods, sauces, pancakes and more. Saskatoon berries are also packed with more antioxidants, protein, fiber, magnesium, manganese, barium, and aluminum than blueberries, are lower in phosphorus and sulfur, and are a good source of Vitamin A and C. This little berry has it all.
We are partial to the Saskatoon berries grown at Cross Farms in Northport for a number of reasons. Rick and Karen Cross have been on the forefront of Saskatoon production since 2001, when they first purchased their farm in Northport and began to rehab the land. It had been stripped of nutrients after years of cherry growing. As an environmentally verified farm, Cross Farms sets the bar for environmentally sound practices that in turn, yield extremely high-quality fruit. They have U-Pick hours now through July 29th, and you may also find their berries at the Leland Mercantile, Blu, The Riverside Inn, The Tribune Ice Cream & Eatery, and many other area locations.
We currently sell Daniela's Delectables Saskatoon Jam made with Cross Farms Saskatoon berries at the store. We find that Daniela's jam recipe perfectly highlights the flavors of the Saskatoons without the cloying sweetness sometimes found in jams. We have used it in many recipes for events at the store, including - baked brie with Saskatoon jam in puff pastry, an incredible chocolate bread with Saskatoon compound butter from Kissing Rock Kitchens and just recently in an amazing Saskatoon Bleu Cheese dip.
We love Saskatoons so much and we want you to love them too. To wow your friends and family with your innovative culinary prowess, we have included our very own Saskatoon Bleu Cheese Dip recipe. This recipe is best with fresh Saskatoon berries from Cross Farms, so be sure to head up to pick a pint or 10 & then stop in to see us for Daniela's Saskatoon Jam. You'll be really glad you did.
SASKATOON BLEU CHEESE DIP
- 6oz Crumbled Blue Cheese (Danish or Maytag)
- 1 1/2 C Fresh Saskatoon Berries (frozen can be substituted)
- 8oz Cream Cheese (room temp)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Chili Sauce
- 1 T Daniela's Delectables Saskatoon Jam
- 1/2 C Green Onion (green part only - finely sliced)
- 1/2 C Pecans, chopped
- Place bleu cheese, Saskatoon berries, cream cheese, salt and pepper, chili sauce, and Saskatoon jam in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or as long as 3 days.
- Top with sliced green onions and chopped pecans before serving.
Serve with crackers, sliced baguette or crudités