I love this time of year. All across England, hedgerows are full of blackberries just waiting to be picked. It brings back childhood memories, sometimes bitterwseet. Though I looked forward each year to plucking the juicy berries off their prickly nests and eating them by the handfull, their arrival signaled that summer was soon coming to an end.
But what an end! As a family, we love going blackberry picking and we will often come home with bucket loads. We make jam and pies and crumbles, and I always pop a few in the freezer to bring out in the depths of winter to remind us of warmer times.
So if you are at a loss for what to do with your pickings, here's a list of 10 things to do with blackberries, recipes included below.
- Bake a blackberry and apple pie
- Make blackberry and apple jam
- Try blackberry cranachan (had to add this Scottish recipe)
- Bake a blackberry and apple crumble
- Put in a summer Pavlova
- Create a blackberry fool
- Make a blackberry smoothie
- Put a few blackberries in lemonade
- Freeze a few for later. Do not wash. Lay evenly on a baking tray and put in the freezer. Put them in a zip lock bag the next day and then use as needed.
- Eat them plain or sprinkled with a little icing sugar. They're yummy!
Here are the recipes:
Blackberry and apple pie
This recipe is adapted from Jamie at Home.
1 package shortcrust pastry
100g golden caster sugar
6 large apples, sliced (at least 2 Bramley, the rest Cox)
1 tablespoon stem ginger in syrup
150g blackberries, rinsed
Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas4
Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan, and add the apples and stem ginger (with syrup), and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on. Then add the blackberries and cook a further 5 minutes, lid off. Take off the heat.
Meanwhile, take one sheet of pastry and lie on the bottom of a buttered 26cm pie dish.
Pour the cooked apple mixture into a sieve and keep the liquid. Put the apple mixture into the pie dish, and add half of the liquid. Top with the other shortcrust, trim the edges and bunch them together. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Place on a baking tray and put on the bottom of the preheated oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.
Blackberry and apple jam
This is another Jamie Oliver recipe (I love him!)
500g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 1 small lemon
1kg jam sugar
Place a saucer in the freezer to chill.
Put the blackberries, apples, lemon juice and water in a large pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add sugar and stir. Boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat.
Put a teaspoon of the jam on the chilled plate for 1 minute. Drag your finger over the jam, if it bunches up, it has set. If not, boil again for a few minutes, and then test.
Blackberry Cranachan (adapted from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook).
I’ve left out the alcohol. This is a great dessert and good for breakfast too.
300 ml double cream
300 ml plain yoghurt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 package granola
Whip the cream and mix with the yoghurt. Add the lemon zest and sugar. Layer the cream mixture with the fruit and granola, sprinkling a little granola on the top.
Blackberry and apple crumble
For the filling:
3 large apples (mix Bramley and cox), peeled and sliced
150g/5oz caster sugar
pinch of cinnamon
For the topping:
50g/2oz unsalted butter, diced
110g/4oz plain flour
55g/2oz caster sugar
Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Heat butter in saucepan. Add apples and stir. Add sugar and cinnamon. Cook until apples are soft. Add blackberries and stir.
To make the topping, mix butter with flour and sugar until crumbly.
Put apples and blackberry mixture into a 23cm/9in ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with crumble mixture.
Bake for 10-30 minutes or until light golden brown and bubbling.
Pavlova with blackberries and other summer berries
My favourite Pavlova recipe comes from Delia Smith. This is now my daughters’ favourite, and they ask for this for their birthday instead of cake! I always double it to make an impressive dessert for guests.
3 large eggs whites
6 oz/175g caster sugar
10 oz/275g whipping cream
12 oz/350g mixed soft fruits (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)
Preheat oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C) .
Lightly oil a baking sheet and cover with parchment paper.
Put egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Whisk in the sugar about 1 oz at a time. Form a nest with this mixture on the baking sheet. Turn the oven down to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C) and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the meringue dry out over night.
When ready to serve, top with the whipped cream and berries.
Blackberry and lemon fool
This is easy and delicious. It is adapted from an BBC recipe.
500g/1lb2oz mascarpone cheese
200g/7oz blackberries, rinsed
1 lemon – juice and zest
120ml/4 fl oz double cream
6 tbsp icing sugar
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Spoon into serving dishes and put in the fridge to set a few hours before serving. You can garnish with a shake of icing sugar and few blackberries and a sprig of mint.
Blackberry and banana smoothie
1 large banana
75g/3oz frozen blackberries
180ml/6fl.oz. orange Juice
180ml/6fl.oz plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 large ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and whiz.
What's your favourite thing to do with blackberries? Leave us a comment and let us know.
This post was written by Thames Valley Mum founder, Susanna. You can also find her at her blog, A Modern Mother.