Wandering up and down the lane pushing a pram in one hand while trying to keep an over-excited Beagle under control in the other, I thought to myself ‘Hmm, what could I do to make my life harder?’ and then it hit me, Blackberry picking!
It’s been hard to ignore the hundreds of deep purple berries that have filled the lane over the past month or so and I finally decided they needed to be put into some kind of baked good. So one sunny morning I forced Jack to come dog walking with me and Violet and used my free hand to fill and tub full of juicy Blackberries. Blackberry picking brings back memories of me and my sister being dragged up and down the canal when we were younger filling old ice-cream tubs full of berries that my mum would then turn into Jams and Jellies so naturally it’s on my list of ‘Family Must Dos’ and I set the ball rolling for what I hope will become a yearly late summer tradition for our family too.
Having spent a full 40 minutes stopping at every bush I found to search for Blackberries that were high enough off the ground to have not been peed on by everything passing dog or half eaten by every passing bird, I only ended up with half a tub full. Blackberry picking is harder work than I thought, especially when you’re doing it one-handed. I suddenly had a flash back to being very young and being trusted to hold a FULL tub of berries, only to spot a spider hiding amongst our fruity haul and proceeded to throw the whole tub in the air. Showering my family with the spider infested Blackberries, screaming like a banshee and rendering the whole afternoons work fruitless, literally. No wonder they were so mad, it must have taken them ages to fill that tub.
Anyway, our afternoon turned about to be less fruitful than I hoped (sorry for the fruity puns) and there was to be no Jam on the cards for us so I decided to search for some fun ways to use my Blackberries. That’s when I stumbled upon a fantastic Blackberry Brownie Recipe¹. After I made a few adjustments this was the finished product.
- 150-200g Milk Chocolate (Use Dark Choc if the Blackberry’s a very ripe and sweet)
- 150g Butter
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- 75g Plain Flour
- 30-50g Cocoa Powder
- 200g Blackberries
- 4 TBSP Icing sugar
- Grease a loose bottomed tin approx 8in, I used a round one but square ones are more traditional. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c /160°c Fan Oven.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl with the butter.
Add the sugar and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool slightly then beat the in eggs one at a time.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and mix together.
Place half the Blackberries in the tin and pour the mixture over, then sprinkle the rest of the Blackberries over the top of the mixture, keeping a handful behind to make a drizzle sauce.
Bake for about 30 minutes, Brownies should be gooey at the centre.
- Put the Icing sugar in a bowl and push the remaining Blackberries through a sieve until you have enough juice to make a drizzling syrup.
- Poke holes in the top of the Brownie and pour the syrup over the top and leave to cool and soak in the tin.
- Once cooled, push the cake out of the tin and Sprinkle with Icing Sugar to serve.
Just remember to wash any wild Blackberries thoroughly, because added Spiders and Creepy Crawlers will change the taste slightly.
¹Original Recipe found here: https://www.recipesmadeeasy.co.uk/blackberry-brownies/#wprm-recipe-container-5415