Cynthia Wong, pastry chef of Cakes and Ale restaurant in Decatur, Ga., uses the berries from a bramble in her backyard for a wild-blackberry brown-butter tart. “The wild berries are a little bit bitter and almost astringent,” she says, “so they’re a good foil for the richness of the brown butter.” She augments the wild berries with cultivated ones she buys from a vendor in North Carolina to make a blackberry soda, which she then makes into a float by adding chocolate ice cream. Wong says the wild berries don’t have enough juice to make into soda, but their bitterness is agreeable, especially with the chocolate ice cream. “They really do have a kind of wild flavor to them,” she says. She adds sugar to the blackberries, purées them and strains them through a jelly bag. She mixes that with seltzer and adds house-made chocolate ice cream.
Now on the menu, but only until the berries are around: Brown butter wild blackberry tart, creme fraiche.