Yes, the blackberry season is almost upon us and even though clambering through brambles is almost as much fun as eating them afterwards, if you’ve got quite a bounty then you need a few creative ways in which to use them. As well favourites like the classic crumble, we take a look at a few other methods and recipes you might not have thought of…
Blackberry Ice Lollies
The perfect way to see out the summer, homemade blackberry ice lollies deliver on intense flavour with the added advantage that you know exactly what went into them, something you can’t really say about shop-bought ice lollies. You can adapt this recipe and substitute the strawberries and raspberries for you freshly picked blackberries (or maybe use a combination of all three) – just be prepared for purple tongues afterwards!
Slightly more traditional but no less delicious, blackberry jam is a winner but getting the consistency right can be tricky. Blackberries naturally contain less pectin (a setting agent present in fruit) than some other fruits, so you need to add more to the recipe in the form of jamming sugar and lemon juice. Once you’ve mastered the art of jam-making, make sure you’ve got enough nice jars to hand (sterilized of course), and your skills can help create some gorgeous presents that you can put away for Christmas. And apologies for mentioning Christmas event though we’ve not even reached the end of August yet.
Fruitcake can be a bit of a ‘marmite’ food – most people either love it or hate, but when you move away from the traditional dried fruits, you can create something that might be a bit more pleasing to a wider selection of palates. Blackberries can be used in cheesecake, brownies and many other different sorts of cake, but if you want to keep it simple, why not try a loaf cake? For this method, blackberries work best with their classic apple partner, so give this apple and blackberry loaf cake a go and enjoy it with your mid-afternoon cuppa.
Who doesn’t love a trifle? We certainly can’t think of anyone. The great thing about blackberry season is that it falls at the time when you can try out all your favourite summer recipes, perhaps for the last time before the autumn arrives. Although let’s face it, there’s nothing stopping us enjoying trifle all year-round if we really want to. In fact, they should make it compulsory. This Nigella recipe combines both English and Italian influences, and even though it uses both blackberries and blackcurrant jam, there’s nothing stopping you substituting the latter for some of the homemade blackberry jam you made earlier. Because you did make some earlier, right?
Oh of course we couldn’t write a blackberry-themed blog post without mentioning the classic crumble! For all out best intentions to be as creative with our blackberries as possible, the fact remains that most of our harvest will probably be headed towards the crumble dish and who can blame us for that? Blackberry crumble and custard is one of life’s great treats and made all the better if you’ve picked that fruit with your own fair hand. If you’re in need of a good crumble recipe, this apple and blackberry one from French culinary king Raymond Blanc recommends you pre-bake the topping beforehand to avoid a gluey mess. Although if you happen to like the gluey mess, then feel free to carry on as you were…
As amazing as hand-harvested wild blackberries are, you cannot make these dishes with them and them alone. So for all your other essential ingredients, use the latest Tesco and Sainsburys promo codes, and for all your cookware needs, you can make savings on equipment and accessories with Waitrose. So all that’s left to do now is wait until they’re ripe enough to pick then get harvesting!
By Anna Scott, 12th August 2016