devil's club, and while the berries are much sweeter than that other iconic Northwest shrubbery—Oregon grape—they're also pulpy and nutty in a way that is unfamiliar.
It's getting late in the lowlands of the Pacific Northwest to harvest salal berries, but you're likely to still find some at higher elevations, along with Oregon grape. I gathered mine a few weeks ago and made preserves. Not quite jelly and not quite jam, this is more like a salal spread. I used a limited amount of sugar to retain the salal flavor and tartness. It will be perfect for breakfast scones and dinner cheese plates.
8 cups salal berries
2 cups water
4 tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 cup sugar
1/2 pouch liquid pectin
1. Simmer the berries, water, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for several minutes. Mash with a potato masher. Strain through fine-mesh seive and/or cheesecloth. My yield was 3 cups.
2. Return strained berry juice to pot. Add sugar, 2 more tablespoons of lemon juice, and pectin. Bring to boil.
3. Pour into sterilized jars. Secure lids and process 10 minutes in hot water bath.
My yield was 4 half-pint jars.