Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Blackberry treasures

Blackberries are starting to ripen on the hedgerows and in amongst vast patches of stinging nettles. So yesterday we put on our walking shoes and took a walk around a big field near us.

 After a conversation the day before I discovered Luke, 9, knew about where a lot of blackberry bushes were but informed me the local kids had no interest in picking them and taking home to their parents or even to just eat.  This filled me with a little sadness which is what led us to make a short trip up the road to pick a few tubs worth of blackberries.

Might not be original but I made an apple and blackberry crumble with some of them and blackberry vodka with the remaining ones.

The crumble started with 
175 g plain flour
75g butter chopped in small cubes
75 g demerara sugar
large handful of jumbo oats

I rubbed these together with my fingertips until it resembled claggy rubble or breadcrumbs maybe

For the crumble filling I chopped 2 large peeled bramly apples and a large cox apple.  I put these in a saucepan with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a a couple of tablespoons of sugar and left to simmer gently until it started to turn pulpy with a few lumps still in it.  

Then I placed this in a pie dish I had and covered with my blackberries and covered thickly but lightly with my crumble mix.  I let the crumble mix fall over the fruit redistributing it evenly but never pressing it down. 
Then I put the crumble in the oven at gas mark 4 for 25-30 minutes ( I forget how long I was doing other things) until it looked like this :o)

Now there is nothing really special or wonderful about this crumble but it is a firm family favourite and can be changed in a lot of ways. The house was divided in their choices of custard or ice cream with this but both work so well :o)

This left a few blackberries over and I remembered the just under half a bottle of vodka someone brought over last Christmas.  So I put the blackberries in an airtight jar with an ounce of sugar and poured over my vodka.  Needed a bit more really but had enough to cover the fruit and shake gently until the sugar mostly dissolved.  For the next week or so I will keep it in a dark cupboard and turn over the jar gently to redistribute everything and then just leave it until nearer Christmas and then will sieve out the berries and re bottle ready for Xmas cocktails.  Of course I will find some use for the boozy fruit too ;o)  It looks a bit unpromising as it is but here is a pic before it went into the cupboard 
It kind of matches my nail colour as well :o)