Monday, 16 September 2013

What to make with blackberries


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.

1. Jam.  

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.

18 comments:

  1. What a fab collection of things to do. Love the look of the crumble. We have a sudden burst of figs in the garden

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    1. You're so lucky! I wish we had a fig tree, in fact, I'm thinking of planting one.

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  2. Since I could find only tiny wild blackberries in our forest, I planted blackberry bushes this summer. Keeping my fingers crossed for next year, since the two or three berries they produced this year were plump and yummy. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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    1. How funny, they grow like weeds over here all over the place.

      Hope you get a good crop next year. x

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  3. Great list of things to do with the glut of blackberries! My mum wants me to take her foraging for some today, so I have a few more ideas to do with ANOTHER load of blackberries. I've just made an Autumn pudding (like a summer pudding, but with blackberries, elderberries, crab apples) and a blackberry juice junket. X

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    1. That sounds delicious. I've been meaning to make one similar, got as far as buying the individual moulds, but that's it!

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  4. Blackberries are so versatile! I'll be writing up my cordial and cough syrup today.Fingers crossed a couple of spoonfuls a day will keep coughs and cold away this year.

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  5. Great roundup, I've never made blackberry jam so I think I'll be giving that a go!

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    1. Oh great! Let me know how you get on x

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  6. Fabulous ideas, love blackberries. We usually just go a classic crumble but cordial, lollypops and jelly sound delicious. A great way to get your 5 a day :)

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    1. Thanks Louise, yes brilliant way to get your vitamins! x

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  7. CAKE! CAKE! Oh yum,I love warm blackberry cake *calms self down*

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  8. OMG those ideas just got better and better the more I read. Have gone through it three times now - and that crumble - with figs and honey - Heaven on a plate!

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  9. Blackberries are so expensive here and sadly there is no field/forest nearby where blackberries grow. The Forager's cake looks delicious.

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  10. What a great list of things to do with blackberries! I keep thinking about using blackberries to dye clothes...

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  11. The berry cheesecake lollies look gorgeous! We're hoping to go to our local fruit farm at the weekend and get some blackberries if the weather isn't too awful so fingers crossed :)

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  12. I love this list. I want to try blackberry cordial, that sounds lovely :-)

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