It is that time of year again where Blackberries (or Brambles) are all over the hedges at the side of the road, in forests and in fields. The blackberry season usually runs from the end of July to the beginning of October in the UK, depending on the weather.
After all the wet weather we have had in the UK this week, we decided to go searching for some Blackberries in our favourite spot a mere 100 metres from where we live, and were surprised by the amount we have come back with.
A 45 minute picking has provided us with just over 3lbs worth of plump berries ready for a number of our favourite desserts and preserves including crumbles, pies and jams.
A few words of advice when picking these delicious berries, always wash berries that you have picked before eating them, and make sure you pick from hedges where dogs can’t reach, and away from busy traffic. Blackberry bushes are very thorny, so try to wear long sleeves and appropriate footwear. Finally, try to leave some berries for other foragers.
Although a blackberry crumble is usually associated with cold autumn nights, it is also the perfect pudding to accompany a warm summer evening with a dollop of clotted, single or ice-cream over the top.
Here is our rough and ready recipe to make a simple but ever-so-tasty Blackberry Crumble. You may notice there are no measurements in our recipe, so you can judge the size of your crumble by the size of your pickings.
Blackberries (mixed with any other summers berries you can find)
Golden caster sugar (optional)
Porridge Oats (optional)
Choose a reasonable sized oven proof dish (the bigger the better in our opinion) and pour in approx 2 layers of Blackberries. To make the topping, pour into a bowl one part butter, one part sugar and two parts plain flour (a 70g/70g/140g portion is usually enough for a medium sized crumble). If you have any porridge oats at hand, throw a small handful of these in for added texture. Rub the mixture together with your fingers until the mix reaches a breadcrumb-like texture.
Pour the mixture on top of the berries, making sure the berries are roughly covered by the mix. Sprinkle some golden caster sugar on top of the crumble mix, and place in a pre-heated oven at 180c (350F) for 30-40 mins, or until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges.
Serve hot or cold with your favourite cream.