One of the most prized gifts of the hedgerows, the beautiful blackberry is a real treasure. It reminds me of the signal to the end of summer holidays when the evenings can still be warm but have just begun to shorten a little. We used to spend hours picking the ditches with pots, bowls and pans and we would not go home until they were brimming over with berries.
ABOVE: Blackberry Ballet!
At home, Mum would make blackberry, or blackberry and apple jams and of course I would help her to make lovely blackberry crumbles, sometimes with apples in them. However for me a pure blackberry jam or crumble is the best. You get the true flavour of the fruit. There are many things you can make with blackberries; compote, blackberry mousse, blackberry ice cream and of course pies or crumbles. A lovely dish that is a real throwback is a blackberry sponge pudding.
ABOVE: Hot and served with pouring cream
Pre heat oven to 180ºc / 356ºf For the Blackberries
340g / 12oz Blackberries
85g to 114g / 3 to 4 oz of Sugar
For The Sponge
114g / 4oz Butter
114g / 4oz Caster sugar
114g / 4oz sifted Self Raising Flour
2 to 3 drops of Vanilla Essence
Tip blackberries into greased pie dish and sprinkle with sugar.
To prepare the sponge cream or whisk the butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence together until pale and fluffy. Slowly add eggs, one at a time, to prevent mix from curdling (don't worry if it curdles a little, that's normal). Gently fold in the sifted self raising flour (add a little spoon of milk if mixture is too stiff).
Enjoy the wonderful taste of autumn and guess what the berries are free!