Tis the season to be extremely jolly – and no we don’t mean Christmas.
Very little brings more joy than going blackberry picking during an Indian summer. The hedgerows teem with bounty under a soft and mellow sun. Returning home with full baskets and purple fingers, there is so much promise. And then what?
Apple and blackberry crumble is the obvious choice – and with good reason. Skye Gyngell’s version includes fresh orange, making it fruity and floral enough for late summer, but the buttery crumble adds the warmth and comfort needed for the close of the hottest season.
(And for killer custard, look no further than Delia, whose take on the British pudding staple cannot be improved on.)
But a modern twist on blackberry crumble can be found in this Sweet & Salty Cheesecake - an extraordinarily inviting concoction by Yotam Ottolenghi. We think this is something of a showstopper, to use the language of Bake Off – just count how many of your guests ask for the recipe!
Blackberry jam is a totally underrated conserve and one which goes beautifully with buttery toast on a crisp autumn morning. It also brings a wonderful dash of sweetness to any cheese board. Angela Nilson’s Flexible Jam Recipe on BBC Good Food is as good as any we could recommend when it comes to making jam.
Anna Jones’s Vanilla & Blackberry Drop Scones are what autumn tea times are made for. This delectable recipe includes saffron, which adds a grown-up edge to proceedings. Douse in butter and tuck in.
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of thinking that blackberries are just for puddings, pies and preserves. There are tonnes of meat feasts made perfect by the inclusion of blackberries. Duck goes particularly well with blackberry and there are numerous recipes to choose from but this one, by Raymond Blanc is particularly impressive for the dual virtues of having the ‘wow’ factor in spades and being reasonably easy to make. This is the perfect lunch for a September Sunday.
Like most natural produce, blackberries are best fresh. That said, they can be be frozen meaning these dishes can easily be wheeled out all year round. Just make sure you lie them flat on a tray, with the same care as you might when refilling an ice tray, as lumpen bags of blackberries will be a nightmare when it comes to defrosting.