There's still time to get out blackberry picking, although with all this rain we're having they won't be about for long. Seek out those in sheltered spots, away from the full sun and there will still be pickings to be had.
Our walk to school is lined with bramble bushes and invariably I come home with a pot full, so here's a selection of some of my favourite uses.
It's the obvious choice really, but making a good store of jam now will see you through the winter months and you'll still be tasting the autumn sun on the coldest and darkest of days on your hot buttered crumpets. Chris at Thinly Spread shares her recipe for blackberry and apple jam and Aly at Plus 2.4 tells us how to make hedgerow jam in the slow cooker.
2. Liven up lunchboxes
Pop in a handful of berries or try mixing them with strawberries for a pretty colour contrast and a healthy fruity snack.
3. Fruity lollies
Aly again makes some delicious berry cheesecake lollies - perfect for these last days of sunshine. They look mouth-wateringly yummy don't they?
4. Juice up your gravy
Add a few blackberries to your gravy when you're making the Sunday roast. It adds a rich, fruity flavour which goes really well with dark meat - we had this with our roast lamb and it really added a depth to the sauce. You can add them straight from the freezer too.
5. Juicy jellies
Homemade jelly is surprisingly easy. Blackberry jelly is fruity and packed full of flavour and vitamins, but without all the added nasties of shop-bought jelly. Make them in mini pots to add to school lunchboxes, or dress it up for an after dinner treat. As it's sieved, it's a great way to get those who don't like the pips to eat them.
6. Fruity cakes
Adding berries gives a whole new dimension to cakes - both in terms of texture and colour. I love this cake from Life at the Zoo. If you have super-sweet berries you can reduce the sugar in the recipe too. Maggy shares her recipe for Forager's Cake.
7. Let's get ready to crumble
Yeah, I now that's a corny joke, but we ALWAYS sing it when we're making a crumble! Blackberries are perfect to go into a crumble, either fresh or frozen. The traditional combo is blackberry and apple, but try adding it to other fruits too like this honey and fig crumble with almond topping.
9. Fruity drinks
Blackberries are great for making your own fruity concentrate. Brilliant to keep in the fridge for kid's drinks or a mixer, and it's surprisingly easy to make blackberry cordial - add other foraged fruits too such as elderberries or plums. Blackberry gin or vodka is every bit as tasty as sloe gin, and in my opinion easier to make as you don't have the laborious task of pricking all the fruit. Simply add a large handful of washed berries to a small bottle of vodka or gin, with a spoonful of sugar. Keep in the dark (a kitchen cupboard is perfect) and give the bottle a good shake every day for a week, then leave for around a month. After that time, strain and decant into a sterilised bottle, and it makes a pretty handmade Christmas present. Amanda at the Ana Mum Diary has a lovely recipe for Elderflower and Blackberry Vodka.
10. Get crafty and dye
And finally, if you're looking for something non-edible to do with your foraged fruits, how about this clever and all natural blackberry dye idea from Kids Chaos. I love the tie-dye effect, and the vibrant colour the fruit gives.
So there you have it, 10 ideas for using up your blackberries. What do you do with yours? I'd love you to share any suggestions or links in the comments below.
With thanks to all the featured blogs for allowing me to share their ideas and images.