I’ve spent far too much time glued to my laptop recently trying to make progress with the thesis and feeling stressed about it, so yesterday afternoon I decided to leave it all behind for an hour and take a walk to the park. Our local park is less than a 5 minute walk away and it’s huge with plenty of blackberry bushes. I found the best ones last year at the far end of the park and made a beeline for them yesterday afternoon with an empty tupperware in my bag. After only 20 minutes of picking I managed to fill my tub with just over 700g of big juicy blackberries. If I’d had a bigger tub I could easily have picked twice that many but it gives me a good reason to get out of the flat again later in the week to go and pick some more. I’ve been working at home for the past couple of weeks instead of going into campus and I’m starting to feel like a bit of a hermit, it’s far too easy to spend several days at home not going anywhere at the moment which I know is not good for me. But the prospect of free food waiting to be picked is enough to get me out and about.
The stewed blackberries will keep in the fridge for a few days or you can freeze them. They are absolutely delicious swirled through plain yoghurt and I think they would also work well mixed through a good quality vanilla ice cream to create a seasonal blackberry ripple. You could also use your stewed blackberries to make a blackberry crumble or pie or as filling for a layer cake. I haven’t quite decided what I want to make with mine yet so they’re in the freezer waiting for me to make a decision and to have time to play in the kitchen.
Ingredients – makes approx 500ml
500g wild blackberries, rinsed
100g caster sugar
2 vanilla pods, split
I’ve purposefully not added very much sugar to the fruit as I wanted to retain some of their natural tartness, though if you prefer your fruit sweeter just add a little more sugar to taste.
Put the blackberries into a small pan and mash them with a potato masher to break them up a bit and release some of the juice. Add the vanilla pods and sugar and stir well, place the pan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Allow the berries to boil for about a minute then remove the pan from the heat, stir well and leave the vanilla pods to infuse. When the blackberries are cool, remove the vanilla pods and then either use the blackberries to create a tasty pudding or freeze in a suitable container for future use.
I’m not the only one enjoying blackberries with vanilla this summer, check out these recent recipes:
What’s your favourite way to enjoy blackberries?
I’m linking this post up with Simple and in Season, created by Ren and hosted this month by Elizabeth, Recipe of the Week, Cook Blog Share, Tasty Tuesdays and Credit Crunch Munch organised by Helen and Camilla and also hosted by Elizabeth this month.