A word of warning before we entice you with these delicious berry recipes: don’t pick blackberries after 29th September.
It’s said that the devil, when he was thrown out of heaven, landed in a blackberry bush and it made him so angry that he spat on the fruit and cursed it. According to old English tradition that’s why you shouldn’t pick blackberries after Devil Spits Day! (Another reason is that the best blackberries will have been picked or eaten by birds or insects by then.)
Before September 29th blackberry-picking can be indulged in to your heart’s content – and, indeed, should be, for what else is free, tastes delicious and is good for you?
Simple blackberry recipes
Blackberry and apple crumble
An old favourite that never fails to please
- 500 g cooking apples
- A handful blackberries
- 75 g caster sugar
- 100 g plain flour
- 75 g margarine
- 50 g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c, gas mark 4.
Peel, core and slice the apples into a shallow heatproof dish. Pick over the blackberries and remove any bugs. Sprinkle the blackberries and 75 g sugar in with the apples
Rub the fat into the flour using your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture. Sir in the sugar. Sprinkle over the apples in the dish and bake for about 35 – 45 minutes until the crumble is golden and crisp.
Serve hot with ice cream or custard.
Use with pancakes, ice cream, yogurt or as alternative to gooseberry sauce with oily fish like mackerel.
- 300 g blackberries
- About 50 g caster sugar or to taste
- 1 orange
Place the sugar in a saucepan with the juice of the orange. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the blackberries and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Simple blueberry recipes
- Replace the blackberries in the crumble with a handful of blueberries.
- Make a sauce or compote without adding fruit juice or extra water as the blueberries will release a lot of juice.
- 125 g butter
- 200 g digestive biscuits
- 800 g cream cheese
- 200 ml soured cream
- 100 ml double cream
- 200 g icing sugar
- 1 lemon
- 150 g blueberries
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Crush the digestive biscuits to fine crumbs. Mix with the melted butter. Press into the base of a greased 9½’ springform tin.
Whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks. Combine it with the cream cheese, soured cream, icing sugar and the zest and juice of the lemon. Spread over the biscuit base and leave to set for several hours.
Place the blueberries in a small saucepan with the caster sugar. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar and then simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Allow to cool before pouring over the cheesecake. Chill again.
Serve with extra pouring cream.
- 300 g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100 g butter at room temperature
- 100 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 140 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150 g blueberries
Preheat the oven to 160c, gas mark 3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Sieve together the flour and baking powder. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs beating well. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract before folding in the flour. Finally gently stir in the blueberries.
- As with all muffin mixtures a lumpy mix is what you want rather than a smooth consistency.
Divide between the 12 paper cases and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden and well-risen.