15 September 2014

10 Gorgeous Ideas for Blackberries!




We recently discovered a lovely footpath not far from our home with all sorts of interesting old waterwheels and other abandoned buildings hidden away amongst the somewhat industrial landscape of clay country, where we live.

We’ve been back several times just to walk and explore but particularly now whilst the blackberries are ready for picking, all clean and undisturbed being far from the road. I have really stocked up.  Now what shall I do with them? 

Blackberry and Apple Thing
obviously!


Could be a crumble, a pie, a cobbler or, as we had just now a sponge pudding.  For 4 people put 750g fruit (in this case sliced apples with stemmed and washed blackberries) in an ovenproof dish.  Add the appropriate topping and bake.

Crumble Recipe


240g plain flour
160g cold butter or margarine
120g sugar

~   Preheat oven to 180ºC/350°F/160ºC fan/gas 4.
~   Rub in the flour and butter till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
~   Stir in the sugar.
~   Put peeled and sliced apples and some blackberries in a pie dish.
~   Sprinkle over the crumble mix.
~   Bake till the fruit is hot (and cooked, if using raw) and the crumble is golden.

Cobbler  Recipe


So called, apparently, because the scone dough resembles a cobbled street!

225g self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
60g cold butter or margarine
25g caster sugar
100ml milk

~   Stir together the flour, salt and baking powder.
~   Add the butter or margarine and “rub in” with your fingers until a breadcrumb texture is achieved.
~   Stir in the sugar once you have finished rubbing in; if you add it earlier it’s uncomfortable on the hands although, of course, it does exfoliate.
~   Add the milk and mix in, by hand is easiest, add a little more milk if too dry or a little more flour if too wet – work just enough to form a soft dough.
~   Either form into rough dollops or on a floured surface press or roll the dough out to about ½” thick and cut into rounds.
~   Lay the pieces of dough on top of the fruit and bake till risen and golden and wonderful.

This picture shows an apple and raspberry cobbler I made whilst wiring “The Secret Life of Scones” which gives an amazing range of delicious things that can be made with this dough.

blackberry-and-apple-crumble

Pie Just stick some pastry on top and bake it!

Sponge Recipe


75g soft butter
100g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten with ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp boiling water

~   Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/160ºC fan/gas 4.
~   Cream together the butter and sugar till light in both senses; pale and fluffy.
~   Briskly stir in the egg mixture plus 1 tbsp of the flour (this helps prevent curdling).
~   Fold in the rest of the flour.
~   Spread lightly on top of the fruit and bake till it is risen and golden and bounces back when (if) you poke it – about 40 minutes.
blackberry-sponge-epudding

Serve all these darlings hot with custard or cold with cream, clotted cream or ice cream.

Blackberry Pancakes


See here for how to make pancakes without even having to buy the mix!
  
When cooking them sprinkle blackberries onto surface of the pancake just after pouring and then drizzle over a little more batter. This protects the fruit from the harsh heat of the pan.


blackberry-filled-pancakes


Blackberry Mess


I mean this in a nice way, a great autumnal variation on the Eton variety. Simply fold crushed meringues and blackberries into whipped cream plus an optional drip of vanilla extract.


blackberry-ice-cream-sundae

Blackberry Coulis


It is said that the word “coulis” either referred to ‘the juices that flow from meat when cooking’ or that it came from the Latin verb to strain. These days, however, it is just a posh word for fruit purée. 

fresh blackberries (de-stalked and washed)
sugar (approximately half the weight of the fruit)

~   Put the prepared blackberries in a small saucepan.
~   Add the sugar.
~   Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat giving the berries a helpful squash now and then.
~   When the fruit is soft and collapsed strain through a fine nylon sieve pushing on the debris to extract as much coulis as poss.
~   Cool, cover and chill till needed.

Drizzle on ice cream, top with fizzy water for an different sort of cordial ...

blackberry-coulis-sprintzer

... or make ice cream.


Blackberry and Clotted Cream Ripple


I use the clotted cream ice cream recipe from my ice cream book because these being Cornish blackberries, it felt appropriate.  See Luscious Ice Cream without a Machine for 100+ ices based on this one simple recipe.

250ml clotted cream
250ml single cream
200g condensed milk
150ml blackberry coulis

~   Slowly whisk together the two creams till merged and then up the speed and whisk till thick.
~   Fold in the condensed milk.
~   Decant the mixture in a shallow container and drizzle over cold blackberry coulis in a figure of 8 or any other enthusiastic swirly shape.
~   Stir it through just once or twice making sure to do a large expansive sort of stir down to the bottom and out to the sides of the ice cream. 
~   Freeze.

This is a little hard when it comes out of the freezer but quickly softens. When the ice cream is served the cutting, scooping and spooning will cause it to ripple further.


homemade-blackberry-ripple-ice-cream


Blackberry Sorbet


See here for the sorbet recipe and here for my sorbet & granita ebook which gives lots of recipes based on this simple syrup and is only 99p! 

homemade-no-churn-blackberry-sorbet

Blackberry and Apple Vodka


This is an experiment. I really don’t like gin except when it is sloe gin so I have made plenty of that over the years.  Last year I also made a batch of blackberry gin and it too is delectable. This year I am going to make blackberry and apple vodka – it should work. This is what I am doing – I’ll report back.

300g blackberries
1 peeled, cored and coarsely chopped apple
300g sugar
1 ltr vodka

~   Put all the fruit into a large sterilised jar – a Kilner or similar.
~   Add the sugar and the gin.
~   Seal tightly.
~   Put in a cool, dark place and give it a viddy sherrek (Cornish for good shake) every day until you can discern that the sugar has completely dissolved.
~   Leave it alone for as long as you can – a few months at least, but apparently the longer it sits the better it is and we are talking years here.

homemade-blackberry-gin



This is the blackberry gin that I made last year – if you look carefully you will see I took the trouble to store it in a bottle with blackberries on it!














If you can’t decide what to do or, like me, have loads of blackberries you’ll be pleased to know they freeze very well. One nice idea is to freeze some in ice cubes for pretty drinkipoos later.

blackberry-ice-cubes

Alternatively just drop frozen blackberries into your drink to chill and flavour it.

frozen-blackberries-drink

If you do have lots of apples there is loads of info here.

the-leftovers-handbook-suzy-bowler



More ideas for blackberries, apples and for 450 or so other possible gluts or leftovers in my book, The Leftovers Handbook.



P.S.  I think I might make blackberry brandy too!




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10 comments:

ceridwen said...

don't panic Captain Mannering. I was one of the people who asked for a review copy, but haven't yet had the time to read it. I expect the same is true of some of the others. Life gets in the way...but we do intend to get round to it.

Suzy Bowler said...

Thanks Jonesy!

I'm just surprised so few people even wanted a copy!

Hope you like it.

Judith Hannemann said...

That's right--torture me with those nice pics of the English countryside :) Thanks for posting!

milkandbun.com said...

Pancakes look absolutely delicious! Unfortunately the link for the recipe doesn't work..
Cheers,Mila

Suzy Bowler said...

Thanks for the heads up Mila - I've corrected it.

Katerina said...

These pancakes immediately caught my attention!Thanks again for coming and linking up at The Weekend Social. All posts get pinned on our pinterest board! Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on culinaryflavors.gr! I hope to see you there!

Janice Pattie said...

My goodness you certainly do like your blackberries, what a feast of seasonal flavours. Thanks you so much for joining us for The Great British Blackberry Recipe Round Up.

Emmyw said...

What a fantastic collection of ideas. The blackberries near us are quite small this year which is a shame. I'm not convinced they will grow much larger unfortunately. Some great suggestions here though! I'll have to bookmark for next year.

Sheetal Soni said...

can i use something else in place of blackberry ? for its difficult to procure blackberry at the place where i stay

Suzy Bowler said...

Yes of course, I think in all the recipes you could substitute blueberries or other berries.