The Best Food & Drink Recipes From Freshly Picked Blackberries This Fall

high temperatures bountiful harvest strawberries cherries blueberries blackberries summer fall 2022 food drink recipes dishes cocktails eat bake – Elva Etienne

Of all the legacies of the heat wave, like grasses the color of the African savannah and hose bans, one sweet, benign gift from nature is an excess of delicious berries, especially blackberries.

The scorching temperatures of last summer have produced a bumper crop of strawberries, cherries, blueberries and blackberries, according to reports from the British Berry Growers Association. In many cases, cash crops have matured prematurely and harvests have been brought forward several weeks.

“There are 43 per cent more blackberries, compared to this time last year,” confirms Rob Harrison, Commercial Director of Berry Gardens, the UK’s largest supplier of berries and cherries.

Anyone who has spent time in the country during the summer cannot fail to notice the abundance of blackberries (brambles) that grew in profusion.

“A bright, warm spring meant that most of the country’s blackberries bloomed profusely, becoming fruits that have taken advantage of the sunny months to ripen excessively and earlier than normal,” explains Mark Diacono, chef, author and former head gardener at River Cottage. .

So it’s an excellent time to pick blackberries, or blackberries, a much-loved British pastime dating back thousands of years. I can’t think of anything more beautiful to do on a crisp early fall day than grab a basket, a couple of kids, and maybe a dog, and head out for berries.

The challenge, as with all berries, is that blackberries soften too quickly once picked, so they must be eaten or cooked quickly, or stored in the freezer for later use. (The fruits are not really berries, but clusters of drupes, or stone fruits, each with a small hole nestled inside.)

If you freeze your reward, spread it out on a tray first so it doesn’t pile up; once frozen, transfer to resealable freezer bags.

Whether fresh or frozen, foraged or store-bought (commercially grown specimens are likely to be much sweeter, less flavorful than wild ones), blackberries are sublime on all sorts of things.

high temperatures bountiful harvest strawberries cherries blueberries blackberries summer fall 2022 food drink recipes dishes cocktails eat bake cocktail excess - Marianna Massey

high temperatures bountiful harvest strawberries cherries blueberries blackberries summer fall 2022 food drink recipes dishes cocktails eat bake cocktail excess – Marianna Massey

Its tart sweetness and deep flavor are delicious on their own, of course, or simply combined. Drop them into a bowl of cold yogurt, mash them on top of ricotta on toast, or put on a muted bowl of purple porridge with a handful added as it cooks.

Blackberries pair great with other seasonal fruits: nestle them in pies, tarts, and crumbles with late-season peaches, plums, and nectarines, or fall pears and apples. Or make an endlessly versatile compote. Put the fruit in a saucepan with a little sugar or honey (only if you think they need sweetening) and a good splash of water. Simmer until the berries have plumped down enough to release their purple juices. Stir compote through whipped cream gently for a blackberry sucker (or add crumbled meringue for a mess), or spoon it over a cheesecake.

Alternatively, whisk in 600ml double cream, whisk in a 15-ounce can of condensed milk, then add chilled blackberry compote (strain if seeds sticking to teeth bother you). Pour into a loaf pan and freeze to make ice cream – no churning necessary.

They also add a burst of sweet flavor to the salty. Try including a handful or two in a salad made with roasted beets, cooked grains (such as spelt, freekeh, or barley), a handful of fresh herbs and nuts (walnuts or almonds), and a vinaigrette dressing.

Roast beef and blackberries are happy companions. Add a handful to a roasting pan with venison or game birds and mash them into the pan juices to incorporate into a fruity sauce.

Perhaps the excess could deliciously lead you to drink. A great-aunt of mine loved Blackberry Nip, a cloying port-based drink. But Diacono has much tastier suggestions. Add a dozen gently crushed blackberries to a mojito, the classic Cuban cocktail made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. “They add a fine touch of depth from summer to fall,” he says. Or put a kilo of blackberries in a jar with a bottle of whiskey and an inch of sugar. “This will give you an amazing drink,” says Diacono.

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