What Are Jostaberries?
They just might be the greatest berries you’ve never heard of. Limited to very small regions of Europe and North America, the Jostaberry is a specialty fruit that you won’t find in supermarkets any time soon. Delicate to a fault, they’re difficult enough to pick by hand without crushing or bruising. Unsurprisingly, no machines have been invented to make them a commercially viable option. Moreover, their prime harvesting season passes in the blink of an eye, encompassing two weeks each July at the most.
Perhaps this very elusive nature adds to their allure, but I’d wager that they’d fly off the shelves should they ever become as common as apples and oranges. Luck was simply on my side when I discovered that Lyman Orchards, supposedly the one and only source on the east coast, had them ripe for the picking.
Where Do Jostaberries Come From?
In a class of their own, the Jostaberry is a cross between a black currant and a gooseberry, explaining some of their tart, slightly astringent qualities. Pronounced with a “Y” as a reflection of their German heritage, “Jostaberry” is a portmanteau that comes from a blend of Johannisbeere and Stachelbeere– The German words for both aforementioned varieties.
What Do Jostaberries Taste Like?
When fully ripe, their sweetness develops further, blending in notes of blueberries, kiwis, and grapes, all into one tiny, juicy bite. Easily eaten out of hand, the real challenge is picking- and saving- enough to weave into recipes later. Their high pectin content makes them ideal for jams and jellies, but by the time I got back home from the fields, not even half the volume of berries I had intended for baking remained.
What Can You Do With Fresh Jostaberries?
Jam was out of the question for this season, but my precious Jostaberries became the stars of the show inside classic crumb muffins instead. Moist and bursting with that unique berry flavor, it’s no secret that the muffins themselves are merely vehicles for consuming large clumps of the dark drupes at once. Moist, soft and lightly buttery, the surrounding batter provides a gently sweetened backdrop that allows the berries to take center stage.
The only thing that might improve the combination is perhaps a quick jaunt through the toaster oven, followed by a thick smear of that jam I had dreamed about… But that pairing will just have to wait for the next limited harvest.
- 1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
- 1/3 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour Flour
- 1/3 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Medium, Ripe Banana
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
- 1 Cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Heaping Cup Jostaberries
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and either lightly grease or line 12 standard muffin cups with papers.
- Prepare the topping first by stirring together the brown sugar, flour, and almond meal in a small bowl. Drizzle in the melted coconut oil while mixing with a fork, until all of the crumbs are moistened and sticking together in coarse clumps. Set aside.
- For the body of the muffins, pull out your blender or food processor, and toss in the sugar, banana, lemon juice, and water. Thoroughly puree, until completely smooth, before adding in the melted coconut oil, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract. Blend once more to fully incorporate.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl along with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add in the jostaberries and toss to coat with the dry goods, which will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins while baking. Pour the liquids from your blender into the bowl, and stir lightly with a wide spatula, just to combine.
- Don’t go crazy about getting out every last lump; a bit of unevenness is just fine.
- Equally distribute your batter between your 12 prepared muffin cups, mounding them up slightly towards the center, and then do the same for the crumb topping. It may seem like a whole lot of crumb, but don’t be shy and pile it on! Bake for 5 minutes, and then without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.
- Bake for an additional 13 – 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool completely before enjoying.
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 6g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.