Blackberry picking is one of our favourite past times. My children are normally the first to notice the ripened blackberries on the bushes and start asking when we can go blackberry picking.
We grab empty carrier bags or sandwich bags and head off in search of blackberry bushes. Living in Somerset we are lucky that there are lots of wild blackberry bushes around. Even if you live in the city I am sure you won’t have to look too far to find some blackberry bushes.
The children get so excited when they spot the nice ones and when the bags start to fill up they feel proud of how many they have picked.
What to look for when picking blackberries
We have learnt from experience that the best blackberries are nearly always hidden so it is worth moving the leaves and brambles around to try and find the ones hiding out of sight. Be careful to avoid the thorns I found the best way was to use my foot on the lower branches and gently move the brambles down to expose the blackberries behind.
However, do not pick the blackberries that are very low to the ground as these may have had animals urinate on them.
You should always look for the blackberries that are completely black and look squishy. When you pick them they should come easily away from the stalk. If you have to struggle to pull them off then they are not quite ready and will taste a bit sour. The plumper the blackberry looks the sweeter it will be.
What to do with all those Blackberries
For us, the best way to get to enjoy all the hard work we put into blackberry picking is by making a crumble. There is nothing better than a good old fashioned homemade crumble our favourite is blackberry and apple which goes down a treat with a little vanilla ice cream.
My girls love to cook and so they always help out when we make blackberry and apple crumble.
Blackberry and Apple Crumble Recipe
A cup full of blackberries
One large Bramley cooking apple
tablespoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of honey
120g plain flour
60g of demerara sugar + extra for sprinkling on top
Put the oven on to 180c
Wash the blackberries and apples then place the blackberries into a saucepan.
Cut the Bramley apples into small pieces and put in the saucepan with the blackberries.
Add in 2 tablespoons of honey and a tablespoon of cinnamon
Add the pan to the heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes until the blackberries have released some of their juices and the apples have softened.
Pour mixture into a large oven proof ramekins.
In a separate mixing bowl add the flour, sugar and butter and using your hands rub together until it looks like bread crumbs.
Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit filling, ensuring you give it an even cover.
Lightly sprinkle some demerara sugar over the top to help the crumble brown up.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Take out and enjoy.
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