On one of the few sunny days we have seen this summer we wandered around the fields close to our home and indulged in one of our favourite free activities – blackberry picking.
Now I have to admit, personally I’m not a big fan of blackberries. I think it stems from when I was little and used to go ‘blackberrying’ with my own parents and I gorged on them and ended up rather poorly…..
Anyway, back to our sunny afternoon.
We didn’t actually intend to collect blackberries. We had gone for a stroll and happened to notice the bushes full of fruit. Grumpsie decided he fancied a blackberry crumble for tea. He’d already begun pulling fruit from the bushes before considering what we could carry it in.
Grandma rooted around in her bag for a suitable container and came up with……an envelope!
When the envelope was full, pockets came into their own!
Surprisingly, even though we only picked fruit for a few minutes, on our return to the kitchen we weighed the fruit and found we had gathered over 600g of blackberries.
So, on with making the crumble. I do have to adapt recipes because I’m coeliac and others in the family have problems with digesting diary, so my recipes always exclude gluten and usually exclude dairy too whenever possible.
For my crumble I used:500g/1lb blackberries
The juice of 1 orange.
120g/4oz brown rice flour
4 tbsp sugar
120/4oz diary free margarine
My grandma used to recommend leaving hedgerow fruit in a bowl of water for an hour or so and sprinkling a little sugar on top of the water. She insisted this would draw out any creepy crawlies from the fruit. I have no idea whether it works but I did it anyway.
I didn’t notice anything nasty floating on the water but, just in case I skimmed the surface with a slotted spoon before giving the fruit a good wash.
I then placed the blackberries in a saucepan with the orange juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
I gently warmed the fruit, stirring well, until the fruit was softened slightly and the sugar had dissolved. I then drained the liquid from the fruit before dividing the blackberries between two oven proof serving dishes.
then placed the dishes the middle shelf of the oven, heated to 180C/350F/Gas4.
I baked for 20 minutes until the top was golden brown, removed from the oven, allowed to cool slightly and served.
His opinion of the finished result?