Black-Cap Raspberry Pancakes Recipe



In Vermont, we call them “black caps,” and they are taking over my yard. This wild variety of raspberry is a native to the northern part of the United States and Canada. I have had great success growing them — so much so that they are almost out of control

 My kind neighbor keeps bringing my attention to how close to his property the shoots are getting. The whole family has gotten together to pick the many berries after work. Our hands have the marks of prickers raking over them and my daughter’s stained face makes her smile look extra wide.

The past few years there has been a significant problem with the Spotted Wing Drosophila infesting raspberries and other soft fruit. This fly lays its eggs into the fruit, and when you bite in you are in for an unpleasant surprise: larvae.

The problem has been so bad, some farmers have stopped cultivating raspberries around here. I have yet to find the pest in my black caps which I suspect is because they ripen more quickly, possibly because they are native and are smaller, on average, than red raspberries. With fewer local raspberries around, having so many tiny black caps has been a real treat.

Even with just two small patches, I have been harvesting 2 or more quarts a day. I have been freezing quart bags full for winter baking and smoothies. We have been enjoying them fresh and in a mixed berry pie with the last of this year’s strawberries. We have also been eating a lot straight from the bushes. Our favorite use for black caps is in thick, long-cooking pancakes.

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