Blackberry season is here again. Despite their reputation as an Autumn berry, the delicious fruits are usually ready to pick during August - coinciding perfectly with the school holidays.
Traditionally, blackberries are baked into crumbles, but why stop there? There are plenty of ways to expand your blackberry repertoire, whether you're cooking for yourself or an expectant crowd of foodie foragers.
Where to find blackberries
The first place to check is country lanes and walkways. As brambles are essentially a weed, they sprout up in unkempt places. Woodland areas and public footpaths through farmland are also a regular spot for the berries to grow.
Blackberries can be eaten while you pick, something that may convince children to tag along - but make sure to take gloves or small tongs to reach amongst thorns, and be cautious while picking, as the leaves can be sharp.
Remember the foragers' rules:
Don’t take more than you need
Consider other plants and wildlife habitats
Identify the plant before consuming
Seek permission if on private land
Watch out for sharp brambles!
How to prepare blackberries
Store the berries in an uncovered container in a cool, dry place. This should keep them fresh for around two days. Small berries with a squashier texture should be used straight away, as they rot more quickly than the firmer ones.
Immediately before use, place the berries into a bowl and pour cold water over them. Adding a teaspoon of salt is also a clever trick to kill any small bugs that may be hiding amongst the fruit.
After allowing them to soak for around 2 hours, you can begin to pick away the leaves and left-over bramble spikes.
Blackberry Pesto Pizza
Creamy Pesto Sauce:
40g fresh basil
150g coconut yoghurt
50g pine nuts toasted if desired
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pizza crust at room temperature
120g fresh blackberries
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
20g torn fresh basil leaves
150g coconut yogurt
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted if desired
Preheat oven to 230°C with pizza stone inside if using.
1 Add basil, coconut yogurt, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper to a blender or food processor. Pour in olive oil and blend or process on high 30 seconds, or until creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick or not mixing together, add another tablespoon of olive oil and blend or process again.
2 Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface, remove the pizza stone from the oven, and transfer the dough to the stone (use a greased baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone).
Spread pesto sauce on the dough, leaving about a half-inch of crust uncovered around the edges. Sprinkle blackberries and black pepper on top. Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with salt if desired. 3 Bake 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil leaves, Coconut yogurt, and pine nuts. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.
To toast pine nuts: Preheat oven to 180°C and spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, or until golden and aromatic
(Recipe by gratefulgrazer.com)
Watch: How to make Bourbon Blackberry
Blackberry Bramble Cocktail
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 large blackberries
1 tbsp crème de cassis
1 tbsp simple syrup, heat equal amounts sugar and water until sugar is melted; cool before using
50ml Gin (standard double measure)
Blackberries for garnish
1 Combine the lemon juice and blackberries in a rocks glass and muddle until the berries are broken up. Fill the glass with ice.
2 Combine Crème de Cassis, simple syrup and gin in a cocktail shaker and stir to combine.
3 Add to the berry/lemon mixture, stir and garnish with additional blackberries.
(Recipe by Creative-culinary.com)
Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp liquid glucose
250g light soft brown sugar
4 egg whites
300 ml double cream
1 Pour the blackberries into a medium sized pan and heat gently with a splash of water to aid the breaking down of the berries.
2 Once the berries have completely softened, remove them from the heat and pour into a sieve. Push the berries through with a spatula, so that all the seeds are extracted from the fruit pulp. Discard the seeds and return the pureed blackberries to the pan.
3 Add the icing sugar and liquid glucose to the blackberry puree and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat then leave to cool before covering and refrigerating.
4 Meanwhile pour the brown sugar into another medium sized saucepan and add 300ml of water. Heat gently so that the sugar completely dissolves into the water. Then bring to the boil until it reaches a very thick and syrupy consistency (112°C on a sugar thermometer) in about 20 minutes.
Keep your eye on the saucepan at all times so that it doesn’t bubble over.
5 In a large mixing bowl whisk up the egg whites until stiff, then drizzle in the sugar syrup in a slow steady steam whilst whisking. The egg whites will turn beautifully glossy.
6 In a separate bowl, lightly whip the double cream then fold into the egg whites until they are fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
7 The following pour the egg white and cream mixture into your ice cream machine and churn for about 15 minutes or until the ice cream has reached a thick milkshake consistency.
8 Finally whilst the mixture is still churning drizzle in the blackberry puree until it has rippled evenly throughout the ice cream. Turn off the ice cream machine then decant the ice cream into tubs and freeze overnight to reach the correct set.
(recipe by www.fromthelarder.co.uk)
To find out more go to: https://www.burleigh.co.uk/
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