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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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Blackberry crumble muffins

blackberry crumble muffins

I seem to have a bit of a blackberry picking addiction at the moment. Finding excuses to go foraging on a daily basis. Trips down the lane with the toddler on her trike or in the sling telling me she either wants to get down, wants to get out of the trike or get up are held off with a “just a minute darling I just need to get this one last one”.

So one of the recipes I’ve tried in the last week is a version of the blueberry muffin recipe I borrowed and adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi cookbook. Just replacing blueberries with blackberries worked well. You need to use quite firm blackberries so that they will be less likely to burst in the baking process.

Allergen free

It’s possible to make these with gluten free wheat flour and gluten free flour which both work well. I’ve also recently made them with spelt flour (lower in gluten than usual wheat flour) which was a little heavier – though the muffins were still as popular. I used Koko coconut milk when I made them today and you could use vegan spread instead of butter to make them dairy free. And I have heard you can use milled chia seeds or flaxseeds as an  egg alternative

For 12 muffins you will need…

100g Blackberries (plus enough to put a few on the top of each muffin)

210g Plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 medium egg
70g butter
150ml milk or coconut drinking milk
Half an apple (eat the other half!)
Grated zest of half a lemon
110g caster sugar

For the crumble mixture

I make this up and keep some frozen*. For this recipe you need about a dessert spoon of mixture per muffin.

300g spelt flour (or plain white if you don’t have spelt)
100g caster sugar
200g cold unsalted butter cut into cubes.

How to…

… Make your crumble

  1. First, make the crumble mixture by putting all the ingredients into a bowl and rubbing them through your fingers to make the crumble mixture.
  2. (If you have a food processor, just put all the ingredients in and give them a whizz until they resemble breadcrumbs.)
  3. Give the bowl a little shake and the bigger lumps will come to the top, rub these through so that you have a consistent crumble mixture.
  4. The crumble mixture keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days but you might as well freeze what you don’t use as it takes very little time to defrost and will keep in the freezer for months.

…Make your muffins

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170˚C / gas mark 3 / 325˚F.
  2. Line your muffin tray with cases.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder and put to one side.
  4. Whisk lightly the egg, add the sugar and melted butter (making sure its not too hot) and keep whisking lightly.
  5. Whisk in the lemon zest and milk to the wet mixture.
  6. Add the blackberries and grated apple to the liquid mixture.
  7. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir in, not too much – just enough to combine – allowing there to be lumps.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the cases, sprinkle a dessert spoon of crumble mixture on top with a few blueberries
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  10. You can check whether the muffins are cooked through with a skewer – if it comes out wet then they need a few minutes longer, if it comes out with no mixture on it then they are ready.

Nutrition

I have slightly adjusted this recipe to suit younger children – by reducing the sugar content and portion size. So each cake has a teaspoon of added sugar, the rest of the sugar content (about 5g) is from the fruit. Fat and saturated fat content are low in these cakes too). Each cake provides about 170 calories which is just over 10% of the recommended calorie intake for a child aged between 4-6 years of age. Each muffin contains about 10% recommended calcium intake, just under 10% recommended iron intake and about 20% recommended Vitamin A intake for a child in this age group.

*Having frozen crumble mixture in the freezer is a great fall back for midweek or Sunday lunch fruit crumbles as it takes very little time to defrost.