August 22, 2016
One of the sweetest bounties of late summer is blackberry picking.
Blackberry bushes across Cornwall are bursting at the seams this month, with their delicious black fruit, as the beautiful sunshine has helped to boost their ripening.
The nation’s favourite autumnal past-time, blackberry picking brings a sense of nostalgia, a reminder of days gone by picking fruit with your grandparents and sitting by a fire eating hot crumble made fresh from the fruit of your day’s work.
There is something very satisfying about searching through a hedgerow of tangled thorns to find the fattest, glossiest and juiciest berry.
Blackberries usually grow in clusters of seven. The size of the blackberry depends on the weather. Too little rain makes them smaller, whereas too much heat and sun will dry them up!
Want to know our secret to picking blackberries?
Cup your hand under the cluster and gently twist the berries until they fall off. This way you don't loose all the juice from the berry.
Legend has it that on Old Michaelmas Day, the end of harvest and beginning of autumn, Lucifer was expelled from Heaven, falling from the skies, and landed on a prickly blackberry bush. He cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, stamped on them and spat on them to make the fruit unfit to eat!
The best time to go blackberry picking is over the next couple of weeks, at the beginning of September. Coastal and country footpaths will be filled with ripe berries to pick, so make sure to take a container with you to collect your fruit.
Why not make an apple and blackberry crumble?
Follow our delicious recipe below for inspiration.
Apple and Blackberry Crumble Recipe
300g apples, peeled, cored and sliced
115g blackberries, fresh from the bush and washed thoroughly
Cinnamon (quantity to depend on personal taste)
90g brown Sugar
120g flour, sieved
60g butter, diced
Heat the oven to 180°C
Put the apples, blackberries, 1 third of the sugar and a good dose of cinnamon into a bowl and mix together. Then transfer into the dish you’ll use for cooking.
In a separate bowl, put the flour, remaining sugar and butter in a bowl and rub together until it forms a fine breadcrumb consistency.
Cover the fruit mixture with the floury breadcrumbs and put in the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes. The fruity mixture should be bubbling around the sides of the topping.
Serve with cream – clotted of course – or custard.