SCJ_May19

Berry Heaven

Autumn is drawing in, and berries are in plentiful supply and bursting with flavour.

Abundant throughout the UK, blackberries are easy to find and even easier to use. Take an afternoon to reap the bounty from the hedgerows, and see how well this versatile fruit can work for you.

As the air begins to cool and the leaves start to turn, it can feel sad to say goodbye to the warm summer months. However, autumn brings it’s own charms, and foraging at this time of year can uncover some real gems.

The hedgerows are starting to groan under the weight of ripening berries. These are some of the best of foraged food: sweet, sharp and bursting with natural flavour, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better embodiment of the rich taste of autumn. Blackberries must be some of the most common, and you’ll have ample opportunity to pick and enjoy them at this time of the year. Store them in the fridge – or freezer – and wash them when they’re ready to use, not before.

Ideal in a classic British dessert, such as crumble, you can also preserve the current glut as jam or jelly to enjoy throughout the year.

Their sharp, fruity flavour also works well in a sauce with rich game or even as a glaze for venison. Or replace traditional apple with blackberries to accompany roast pork.

And after a hard day foraging, you can always relax with a crisp bramble cocktail – a refreshing mix of gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and blackberry served in tumbler filled with ice.

Get creative

  • Combine with feta and melon as a refreshing salad.
  • Serve as a sauce with spiced grilled duck or pork ribs.
  • Replace traditional strawberries with blackberries for a new take on Eton Mess.
  • Add blackberries to traditional cocktails to create a twist on a classic.
  • Try a blackberry mojito or a pineapple and blackberry sidecar.
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