Last year I wrote a post on blackberry recipes and I thought I would do the same this year too but focussing on less traditional recipes. I have found several recipes form different sources, all sweet! Whilst flicking through the free Tesco magazine I came across a blackberry cobbler, a more traditional recipe, and a blackberry pudding. The pudding looks superb as it is a thin layer of white bread stuffed full of stewed blackberries. I also did a google search for blackberry recipes by chef Yotam Ottolenghi as he always creates recipes full of flavours you think shouldn’t work but always do. My favourite two are stewed blackberries with bay custard and gin and blackberry and star anise friands. The stewed blackberries would be the perfect indulgent dessert for a dinner party and the friands are excellent to satisfy any sweet craving using autumnal flavours. Another savoury way to eat blackberries was found in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Three Good Things; the original recipe uses duck but I thought chicken would also work well, especially with pak choi. The final recipe is for a blackberry buttermilk cake from the Great British Bake Off Everyday recipe book. The use of buttermilk makes it sound like a very moist cake!
- 15g butter
- 1kg bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 75g sugar
- 225g blackberries
- 225g self-raising flour, sifted
- 115g lightly salted butter
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 140g yogurt
- 3 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 200C. Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the apples and sugar and cook over a low-medium heat for 5 minutes, until the apples have softened. Stir in the blackberries, cook for 1 minute more and then remove from the heat. Transfer the fruit to a medium baking dish and set aside.
Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the sugar and cinnamon, followed by the yogurt and milk, stirring to form a wet dough.
Dot heaped spoonfuls of the dough over the filling. Scatter over the almonds and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling at the edges.
- 600g blackberries
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 loaf white bread, sliced
Put the blackberries in a pan with the sugar and lemon zest. Simmer over a low heat for 3-5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved; remove from the heat.
To make a coulis, puree 1/4 of the fruit in a food processor. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds, and then chilled until needed. Reserve the remaining fruit and juice.
Prepare 4 x 200ml dariole moulds or ramekins, oiled and lined with clingfilm. Using a pastry cutter, cut out 4 discs of bread to fit the base of each mould. Dip each disc in the remaining sugar and press into the moulds. Cut out more bread to line the sides of each mould. Soak each piece in the juice, before pressing them firmly in, making sure there are no gaps.
Strain the remaining fruit and divide between the bread-lined moulds. Cut out 4 more discs of bread to make a lid, dip in the juice and use to seal each pudding. Carefully pour over any remaining juice, then cover tightly with clingfilm. Chill for 2 hours.
Turn out the puddings and serve with the coulis and reserved blackberries.
Chicken, Blackberries, Greens
- 1 large free-range chicken
- thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- pinch of dried chilli flkes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 250g ripe blackberries
- 1 tsp redcurrant jelly
- 500g pak choi, trimmed and washed
- knob of butter
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 220C. If the chicken is tied, untruss it and gently pull the legs away from the body. Season the skin well with salt and pepper. Put the chicken in a roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes, so the fat starts to run.
Baste the bird with the pan juices and cover tightly with foil. Return to the oven, lowering the setting to 150C. Cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is very tender and easily comes away from the bone. Tip the bird so any juices in the cavity run into the tin. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate to rest.
Carefully pour off most of the fat from the roasting tin, leaving the dark juices in the tin. Put the tin over a low heat, add the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 4-5 tablespoons water and the soy sauce, followed by all but a few of the blackberries. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes until the berries are tender. Now press through a sieve to remove the blackberry seeds, ginger and garlic. Return to a clean pan, bring to the boil and simmer for a minute or two. Add remaining whole blackberries and keep warm.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Separate the pak choi leaves, add to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain, add a knob of butter and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
To serve, take the meat from the duck. Divide between warm plates and add a portion of pak choi to each. Spoon the blackberry sauce over and around the meat and serve.
Blackberry Buttermilk Sponge
- 150g fresh blackberries
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 medium eggs, at room temperature
- 100ml buttermilk, at room temperature
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling
Heat your oven to 180C. Gently wipe the blackberries with kitchen paper. Thoroughly drain and pat dry.
Put the soft butter into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in the caster sugar. Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vanilla and beat for a couple of minutes longer until the mixture looks paler and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork, just to mix, then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating the sides of the bowl from time to time as before. Add about a third of the buttermilk and gently fold in with a plastic spatula, then fold in about a third of of the flour. Fold in the rest of the buttermilk and flour in the same way, in 2 batches each.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Scatter the berries over the top and gently press them into mixture so they are about half-submerged. Sprinkle evenly with the demerara sugar. Place in the heated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean.
Set the tin on a wire rack. Run a round-bladed knife around the sponge to loosen it from the tin, then gently unclip the tin side and remove the cake. Leave it to cool a bit. Eat the cake warm. Store in an airtight container.