Serviceberry season is here in Western Pennsylvania!
But the serviceberry season is short — so you have to act fast!
Serviceberries (Amelanchier) is sometimes called juneberry, Saskatoon berry, shadbush, or many other region-specific names. It’s a small fruit-bearing tree or large bush. It grows abundantly in our region. Serviceberries are quite a treat, if you can get them before the birds do!
In Pittsburgh, serviceberry trees are most common in city parks, schoolyards, and other public locations. In the spring, they’re known for their beautiful white flowers. In the fall, serviceberries are valued for their crimson color. Many homeowners have a serviceberry out front and don’t know that the fruit is edible. Serviceberries can be eaten raw, cooked in puddings, pies and muffins, or frozen for later use.
Make sure to wash your serviceberries before you use them. You can store them in the refrigerator, covered. They will keep for one week. Some people even dry serviceberries and use them in recipes like a raisin or dried cranberry.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension has a great resource on serviceberries. They even include a few recipes! Learn more here.