Blackberry and apple spread

It feels like I’ve made so much with the blackberries  this year that I am loosing a bit of my blackberry inspiration. Though there are still some good ones to be found in the hedgerows, these will probably end up in the freezer so I can make a crumble or two in the Winter months.

Coming down to the smell of freshly baked bread from the bread maker in the morning combined with making blackberry apple jam has proved irresistible over the Summer holidays.

To make it a healthier option I wanted to develop a blackberry spread that had no added processed sugar. Some would call it no sugar – but that’s not strictly true. Maple syrup has been used to sweeten the spread and it works well. Maple syrup contains about 2.5g of sugar per 5 grams and has a lower GI than sugar too. I’ve just road tested this recipe at our Thursday playgroup where we make bread and it was popular with grown ups and little ones. Including apples in the recipe means that there’s some natural fruit pectin which helps with the setting and consistency.


This recipe makes enough for a small jam jar of fruit spread. You’ll need to keep it in the fridge and it will last for up to 2 weeks. You can freeze it too.

Sterilise the jam jar by putting it in boiling water for 5 minutes or washing well and then putting in an oven at 140 degrees centigrade on a baking tray until fully dry.

You will need …

300g blackberries
100ml maple syrup
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 apples (Bramley, Cox or Pipin)

How to…

Wash all the fruit well, checking the blackberries for signs of life.
Core the apples and grate them skin as well (as it contains pectin) quickly, so they don’t brown, and stir in the lemon juice, to prevent browning.
Put everything in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Bring to the boil.
Take off the heat for a few moments while you mash the fruit (this is really mainly for the blackberries) with a potato masher.
Then simmer on a low heat for 30-45 minutes.
Pour into sterilised jar.
Place a circle of waxed paper over the top of the spread to seal it (it should cover it exactly).
And tightly close the lid.



Blackberries 3 ways

What do you do with your blackberries? I’m asking as I don’t think we’ve really eaten any of the ones I’ve picked on their own, raw and am just interested to know what other people do with theirs.

So far I’ve made 3 batches of blackberry crumble muffins, 3 jars of blackberry and bramley jam)I haven’t had time to research and develop a sugar-free version yet but am in the early stages of that at the moment)  and the easy dishes I’ve made below…

Blackberry smoothie lollies

My daughter made these and it took at least 4 hours for the lollies to freeze. If you want to use less blackberries and/or have smaller lolly moulds use 100g blackberries and 100ml apple juice

You will need…

200g blackberries
1 ripe banana

200ml apple juice (I had to use my juicer as we didn’t have any apple juice in 1 apple produces about 100ml apple juice)

How to…

Just whizz them up in your food processor or handheld blender

Whizzing blackberries


This gave us enough for 4 large smoothie lollies and left some over for us to drink as mini-smoothies.



I think our lollies took about 4-6 hours to freeze.


Blackberry compote

Try making this by just stewing the fruit in a little water for about 5 minutes.

I used about 300g of fruit. Take about a third to a half of the fruit out and blend it a little and then add back in.

Or mash it if you don’t have a blender.

Try it and if it’s sweet enough then keep it as it is.

But if it needs a little sweetening then add a tablespoonful or two of maple syrup.

I had mine with greek yogurt and home made granola which was very moreish.

Compote w yogurt and granola

It’s yummy with home made pancakes and also as a pudding with yogurt or ice-cream.


You can freeze what you don’t need in ice cube trays.


Blackberry and Bramley spelt crumble

Blackberries are quite sweet which is why this works really well with Bramley (cooking apples) because of their tartness.

This is an updated version of a crumble recipe I posted a couple of years ago. I bake the crumble mixture separately to the fruit mixture because I like to keep the crumble mixture dry.

Blackberry crumble

You will need….

…for the crumble

200g spelt flour
40g hazelnuts
30g oats
70g brown sugar
100g unsalted butter cut into cubes

… for the filling

200g blackberries
2 medium sized bramley apples
Juice of half a lemon
2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup or brown sugar

How to…

First pre-heat oven to 190˚C (170˚C fan oven) / gas mark 5 / 375˚F.

If you have a food processor whizz all the crumble ingredients together until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.

It’s easy enough to do by hand and doesn’t take long.

In a bowl, rub together flour, sugar and butter with fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Shake the bowl to get big lumps to the top and rub these in to get an even texture.

Chop the nuts so they are in quarters or smaller. Or you could make an envelope with parchment paper and put the nuts in the middle, fold it over at the edges and then bash the nuts with a rolling pin. Letting out any pent up aggression from the day!

Mix in the oats and chopped nuts.

Put on a big baking tray.

Wash the blackberries through well, checking for any signs of life.

Wash, peel, core and cut the apple into cubes and put in an ovenproof dish .

Cover and mix through the lemon juice to stop the apples from going brown.

Spoon over and mix through the maple syrup.

Cover with foil or lid.

Put the apple mixture and the baking tray of crumble in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Take the crumble out and mix through and put back in so it is all evenly browned.

Take the apple mixture out of the oven, add the blackberries, mix well and put back in.

Bake for a further 10-15 minutes.

Take out of the oven and serve with ice cream or home-made custard.