Someone has to stop me. What started as an innocent plucking of the first seasons tempting vulnerable blackberry, has turned into an obsession. On my daily dog walks, the multiple jungle of tangled branches gloat and boast their juicy fruit in my face, saying, ‘pick me!’. Consequently, everywhere I look I seem to see just one more handful that cannot be left untouched. My pocket now permanently contains a bag just in case.
Not helped by my father who – I quote- said – ‘its not enough! We need to fill the freezer!’- I have managed to gather around 6 bags of blackberries. I have chosen to freeze them to lock in their seasonal freshness, make them last longer and most importantly, prevent their disappearance before they have the honour of finding their way to an admirable recipe. My poor father, who is a simple foodie man, loves nothing more than a easygoing, undemanding and straightforward blackberry and apple pie. Don’t get me wrong, a straight crumble is on the top of my pudding list, however, this year……….this year, I have picked more than enough to govern experimental licence….
So if your usual garden birds are looking a little anorexic this year then I’m sorry- I take full blame for having stolen their winter pickings….a juicy, nutty crumble, an almond and blackberry bar, blackberry crumble ice cream, bramble moose, jam, summer pudding, coulis, or with a port sauce served over duck……
PS. If you do freeze them, the best way is to was them and leave to drain and dry in a colander. Then spread out in a single layer on a baking tray and freeze like this. Then bag them up, this way you prevent getting a huge frozen mass of solid berries.
- 125g chilled butter, cubed
- 175g plain flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 35g dessicated coconut, lightly toasted in a dry pan
- 150g blackberries, and a extra handful to top
- 2 eggs
- 140g granulated sugar
- ¼ cup lime juice, zest from 1 lime
- 40g flour
- Preheat the oven to 180 and line a 9×9 inch tin or larger for a thinner base, with parchment
- Begin by making the base. Combine the caster sugar, flour and butter in a food processor. Blend until the mixture form breadcrumbs and then continue until the mixture forms a crumbly dough. Add the coconut and pulse to combine.
- Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to compress and smooth the dough into a single layer
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Now make the topping. Puree the blackberries in the processor until they become liquid. Strain this mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.
- Whisk together the eggs, lime juice, zest and sugar in a large bowl. Add 3 large heaped tablespoons of your sieve blackberry puree and whisk again.
- Add the flour and stir to combine. [Keep the remaining berry puree for serving but it may need sweetening. Heat and add a little caster sugar to dissolve]
- When the base in cooked, leave to cool for a few minutes, then pour the egg mixture over the top. Scatter with the handful of reserved berries and bake for 20-25 minutes until set.
- Once cool, dust with icing sugar and cut into the desired slices.