Brilliant Blackberries

September 18th, 2019

Hands up if Autumn means just one thing – blackberries! Oh yes, that’s us! We love the little sweet berries that are absolutely everywhere this time of year; in bushes, hedgerows, parks, paths and even at the bottom of the garden. They are like Mother Nature’s final sweet summer gift to see us through a winter that would otherwise be full of dull apples and bananas.

These little purple berries are wonderfully juicy and are great eaten raw (preferably straight from the hedge!). They are packed with Vitamin C. For centuries they have been picked and enjoyed by humans all over the world, but are a firm favourite in traditional British Autumnal cooking.

Folklore here says that blackberries should not be picked after Old Michaelmas Day (11 October) as the devil has spat on them! There could be some truth to this old wives tale because the wetter and cooler weather in October can spoil the fruit with moulds.

So, there’s no time like the present to get out into our beautiful countryside and get picking! It’s not difficult to find a good blackberry picking spot – the hardest part is getting there before everyone else! And this is a healthy and fun activity that the whole family can get involved with.

And if any blackberries actually make it into the tub and you need some inspiration about what to do with them, then here’s our favourite Blackberry dishes…..

  • Blackberry Jam – wash the fruit well then boil up with jam sugar and allow to set in jars.
  • Blackberry Gin – add washed blackberries and some sugar to a bottle of gin. Leave it to infuse – the longer the better but at least 6 weeks, shaking it every few days. When it’s ready, sieve out the blackberries, leaving you with a delicious, thick, sweet gin.
  • Blackberry Chutney – add savoury spices to create a chutney that’s good with cheeses and cold meats.
  • Blackberry crumble – great british classic! Is your with cream or custard?
  • Blackberry cake – add to sponge mix for an autumnal twist to your baking
  • Blackberry Pie – add to some cooking apples and stick them in a pie. Don’t forget the custard!
  • Blackberry Pavlova – liven up the usual pavlova by adding blackberries and some sweet juice.
  • Blackberry flapjack – blackberries go really well in a sweet and sticky flapjack. Add them to the mixture before baking them.

Happy foraging!