I nearly missed dewberry season. Growing up in Texas I picked dewberries when they magically appeared before me. I gave no thought to their meaning in the greater scheme of life. Now I’m learning to watch for them. They are the first berry of berry season. They do their thing in early may and they do it quickly. Timing is critical. Next year, I’ll know to watch for little white flowers early in spring.
Not every dewberry patch is the same. The older a dewberry plant gets the less fruit it bares so it’s best if a field is grazed or mowed every couple of years.Dewberries are among the first fruits of spring so they are a welcome breakfast to bees, bats and bunnies.
This recipe can be used with any berry; strawberries, blueberries, blackberries etc…or perhaps with a nice Chevre.
Dewberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich
When there's not enough berries for a pie
- 2 slices of good bread
- Strong white meltable cheese such as Fontana or Havarti
- 2 pats of butter
- 1 small handful of berries (any kind will do)
- 1 tsp sugar, honey, or agave
- 1 tbs Red wine vinegar, or any vinegar in a pinch
- 1 small sliver of onion (smaller and thinner than a dime)
- 1 small sliver of Serrano pepper
For the Gastrique:
Add the red wine vinegar and the sugar together in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook until the sauce thickens just a bit. Add the berries and let the sauce thicken for about a minute. The sauce should be honey-like. It will thicken as it cools.
For the Sandwich:
Get a separate frying pan hot on medium heat. Heat up one side of each slice of the bread just until it’s hot. Turn the heat down to a low medium. Add butter to the unheated side of one slice of bread and place it butter-side down in the pan. Build the sandwich using layers of cheese and the sauce. Butter the other slice of bread and place it on top. Cover the frying pan. ( I usually use the other frying pan that I made the sauce in.) Let one side brown for two minutes or so, check it frequently but don’t move it around too much. The secret to a good brown is not to move your product around. Flip the sandwich over and brown the top. When the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted you’re done.