Foraging is sort of on-trend in the Irish Foodie Community lately. They’ve been out hunting for wild garlic, seaweed, mushrooms and nettles. Blackberry picking though never goes out of style. It’s autumn, it’s harvest time and the hedgerows should be heaving with the weight of berries but not this year. So far the blackberries have been slow to ripen and some bushes are showing no promise at all. So with a keen eye myself and The Gravy Man escaped from our desks and had a therapeutic afternoon of blackberry picking. When I say afternoon I stretch it somewhat, it took us probably less than an hour. I’ve decided that blackberry picking is a good substitute for a yoga class, there’s much reaching and stretching and balance is key as you lengthen yourself precariously over the edge of a harbour wall. Though hard to find, they’re out there if you look long enough and well worth the effort.
I softened the blackberries with some chunks of cooking apple and plenty of sugar to sweeten them up and as they cooked they leeched their colour turning the apples a really soft crimson colour.
Served up with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream there’s something extremely satisfying about cooking food that you have harvested yourself.
Apple & Blackberry Crumble
You will need:
100g unsalted butter
125g plain flour
125g wholemeal flour
200g caster sugar + 50g extra to cook fruit
2kgs of fruit – Roughly 3 to 4 medium sized cooking apples and 3 large handfuls blackberries
Preheat the fan oven to 170C /Gas Mark 5
Rinse the blackberries. Core, peel and chop the apple into small chunks.
Cook the blackberries and apple together in a saucepan with 2 tbsp water over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the apple is beginning to soften.
Place the semi-cooked fruit in the base of a baking dish.
Put the flours together in a bowl and chop in the butter. Mix together with your fingertips to form a crumb-like texture.
Stir the sugar in with a fork.
Scatter the crumble mixture on top of the fruit in the baking dish, pressing it down lightly and cook in the hot oven for 40 minutes.
Til next time, Sheila