Blackberries

I remember being amazed at how early the blackberries were last year, but this year they have exelled themselves – I have been picking and enjoying blackberries since the middle of July. And pretty special they are too – dark, sweet and juicy! Blackberry crumble is the way that I enjoy them best, but I thought I would share this gem of a reciepe with you for Bread and Blackberry pudding from the wonderful book ‘The Wild Gormets’.

Heat 450ml of milk until just before it boils, stir in 2 tblsp butter and then add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, zest of a lemon, 2 eggs, 125g soft brown sugar and 4 tblsp brandy, remove from the heat and whisk.  Take 8 slices of good white bread and cut into triangles, pour over the milk and allow to soak for 10 mins.  Grease a dish and layer the bread and 100g blackberries – finishing with a layer of bread.  Cook at 180 for about 30 mins.  (The book gives instructions for cooking in a pan over an open fire!).  Enjoy!

Blackberries

For reasons unknown blackerries have arrived really really early.  You would not normally expect to be picking until the beginning of September and they have been around more than a week already.  Those that we are not eating straight away, I am packing into any and every available container and squirrelling them away in my freezer for puddings, pies, crumbles and other delicious puddings throughout the winter.  However I do think that this year I may take the plunge into wine making and with blackberries so plentiful (and with loads still to ripen on the bushes) that would be a good start.

The easiest pudding I know is blackberry crumble and you make it like this – half fill an oven proof dish with blackberries, sprinkle over some sugar (usually less than a spoonful).  Make up some crumble (diffuclt to say how mcuh I don’t know how big your dish is, but try this) Rub 3oz hard margarine or butter into 6oz flour, then add 3oz sugar and a handful of oats.  Pour over the blackberries and cook in the oven for about 20 mins at about 180 C.