Blueberries/Serviceberries: Pudding Cake
6 to 8 servings

This treat, which is more like cake than pudding, is equally appropriate for breakfast, snacks, or dessert, and can be served warm or at room temperature. Most of the berries sink into the batter during cooking, leaving a pillowy golden crown on top.

½ cup plus ½ teaspoon white sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups blueberries or serviceberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ cup whole milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly

Heat oven to 375. Spray an 8-inch-square baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside. In a medium non-aluminum saucepan, whisk together ½ cup white sugar, the water, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and becomes translucent, about 3 minutes. Add blueberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture returns to a gentle boil, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt, breaking up any brown sugar lumps. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and vanilla. Add the butter, whisking constantly; the mixture may become somewhat lumpy. Add flour mixture and whisk until well blended. Scrape into prepared dish, spreading evenly. Pour blueberry mixture evenly over the top; sprinkle ½ teaspoon sugar evenly over the berries. Bake until a table knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, or cool completely. Cover leftovers with foil and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Blueberries/Serviceberries: Tri-Color Salad
4 servings

A delightful salad that is as healthful as it is delicious.

2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
¼ cup thinly sliced white onion
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups kale pieces (torn into bite-sized pieces and tough ribs removed before measuring)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Half of a navel orange, peeled and separated into segments
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup serviceberries or blueberries
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, stir together the red cabbage, onion, vinegar and kosher salt. Set aside to marinate for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of the marinating time, fill the bowl with cold water, then stir gently to rinse. Pour into a strainer and set aside to drain.

Wipe out the mixing bowl, then add the kale and olive oil. Massage with your hands for about 3 minutes. Add the drained cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Working with one orange segment at a time, hold a segment over the bowl and use your fingers to break it into ½-inch pieces, allowing the juice to drip into the bowl. Add the orange pieces to the bowl as you go along. Drizzle the maple syrup over the mixture in the bowl, tossing to mix well. Taste and adjust with salt and/or pepper. Scatter the serviceberries and almond slices over the top. Serve immediately.

Raspberries: Raspberries and Warm Custard
2 servings

This simple combination makes an excellent dessert. It would also be lovely served for breakfast as a topper on French toast; there’s enough custard for 4 servings of French toast, but you may want a few more raspberries.

1 cup fresh wild raspberries
1½ tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Place 6 to 8 of the raspberries in a medium bowl. Add 1½ teaspoons of the sugar. Crush with a fork until the sugar has dissolved. Add remaining raspberries, stirring gently to combine with the sugar mixture. Set aside; this can sit on the counter for an hour or more (stir occasionally).

Combine egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until very smooth. Set aside.

Combine milk and vanilla in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat. Whisking constantly, add about ¼ cup of the milk to the egg-yolk mixture. Pour egg-yolk mixture in a slow stream into the saucepan with the milk, whisking constantly. Return to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Spoon custard into serving dishes. Top with raspberries. Serve immediately.

Gooseberries: Sweet Potato and Gooseberry Casserole
6 servings

This savory casserole is a great complement to ham, turkey, pork chops, or roast duck.

2 garnet yams or other orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 1½ pounds total)
1 cup green or ripe gooseberries
¼ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
¼ cup apple juice
3 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375. Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Peel and dice sweet potatoes into ½-inch cubes. As soon as all sweet potatoes have been diced, add the entire amount to the boiling water before they turn brown. Return to boiling and cook until the sweet potatoes are just tender but not mushy. Drain in colander.

Spray a 1½-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Chop the gooseberries very coarsely in food processor or by hand; transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, apple juice, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, the gingerroot and the drained sweet potatoes. Stir to combine, then scrape into the prepared dish. In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cranberries: Curried Squash Soup with Highbush Cranberry Drizzle
4 to 6 servings

Serve this beautiful soup with crusty bread and a green salad for a wonderful autumn supper. Dish up smaller portions to serve as a first course.

½ cup highbush cranberry purée
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
¾ cup diced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 pounds peeled butternut squash, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup diced roasted red bell peppers
1 quart chicken broth
1/4 to ½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Combine highbush cranberry purée, sugar, and orange juice in a small, non-aluminum saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and cook at a very gentle boil, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

In a soup pot, sauté onion in oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, gingerroot, and curry powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add squash cubes, bell peppers, and broth. Heat just to boiling, then reduce heat and cook at a very gentle boil until squash is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup, or purée in batches in a regular blender. (Be careful to avoid splashing the hot liquid.) Check for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls. Spoon some of the highbush cranberry mixture in several dollops on the surface of the soup, then use a chopstick to make a swirl pattern by drawing it through the purée in a circular motion. Spoon a tablespoon or so of sour cream into the center of each bowl. Serve immediately. 

Check out our article on finding and identifying Minnesota's wild berries