At their best picked warm and scrumptious off prickly bushes, the arrival of the blackberry heralds the slow decline of summer into the exquisite colours of autumn.
Sharp and sweet, each berry is a spin of the Russian roulette of flavour – this plump one so syrupy it’s almost jam, dissolving in the mouth, the next one hard and tart, but no matter as your hand always reaches for one more…
If you manage to actually collect any in a tub (rather than in your tum), you could freeze them, make them into juice or jam, or even into a liqueur. Toss a few onto the top of a Bramble cocktail or into a bowl with the finest vanilla ice cream for a simple treat, or you could try these recipes:
1. Blackberry and Apple Crumble
The best and most common way to use up blackberries, no one needs a list to think of this recipe, but this one has a clever twist – Raymond Blanc suggests toasting the crumble on its own before adding it to the fruit, with rave reviews of the results. No more gluey uncooked lumps!
2. Blackberry, Bay and Honey Tart
Similar to a Bakewell tart, Anna Jones marries pastry, frangipane and fruit in this delicious recipe. The sweet almond, juicy blackberries and aromatic bay are so sophisticated you may never go back to the original.
3. Sausage, Sage and Blackberry Traybake
Pork with apple sauce, lamb with redcurrant jelly…so why not sausages with blackberries? This unusual but tasty combination is loaded onto a tray with various vegetables, a perfect simple supper.
4. Blackberry and Pistachio Cake
Why make a normal sponge cake with a few blackberries in it when you could make Rukmini Iyer’s exquisite blackberry and pistachio cake? Dense, rich and impressive, the outcome to effort ratio here is in every cook’s favour.
5. Bittersweet Peach and Pickled Blackberry Salad
Rather than making jams or jellies, Ottolenghi has experimented with pickling blackberries to preserve them. Here he pairs them with peach, radicchio, chicory and rocket to make a fresh and mouth-watering salad –eat it outside on a sunny terrace, or just imagine you are.
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