Well, I finally got round to picking those blackberries.
I also finally decided what to make with them. As I was torn between a crumble and a pic, I went for a Pumble or Crumbpie (my partner and I disagree on what it should be called!) – a pastry base with a crumble topping.
I’m rubbish at both writing and following recipes (though I love, love, LOVE beautifully illustrated recipe books), but I will try to get my Blackberry and Apple Crumbpie recipe down for anyone who’s interested.
Tips for picking blackberries:
- Take a child to spot low-hanging berries, or just bend down to a child’s height to spot them – but picking berries with a child is way more fun
- be aware of thorns not just on the branches, but on the underside of leaves too
- bring a stick so you can push branches aside
- don’t keep berries which immediately disintegrate – they are overripe and mostly flavourless
- don’t try to pick berries which are very firmly affixed to the bush, they’re under-ripe and very sharp/tart tasting
So, for when you can’t decide between a crumble or a pie…
Blackberry and Apple Crumbpie
250g of ready-made short-crust pastry (either sweet or plain) – or if you’re making pastry from scratch you’ll probably need to make half or three quarters of the amount needed for a full pie – or just make the whole lot and freeze the leftovers for another time
This makes a fairly thin layer of crumble topping, if you think you’d like a thicker layer, double the quantities.
Either 85g of oats and 85g of plain flour, or 170g plain flour
85g butter or margerine
170g sugar (I used a mixture of demerara and soft brown sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
2 medium size green or cooking apples
this many blackberries:
if you like, a small piece (about the size of the final joint of your thumb) of root ginger
sugar to taste – I used about 1 heaped tbsp
Peel, core and roughly dice the apples, getting about 16 chunky pieces from each apple (peel, quarter, remove core, then quarter each quarter)
Wash your blackberries – discard any which disintegrate in the process, these ones are overripe anyway
Very finely chop your ginger if using and stir it and the sugar together with the fruit. Set aside.
Roll out your pastry and press into your tin. I used a clip-lock cake tin about 12cm deep by 24cm across, and only filled it 2/3 full
Make your crumble by putting all the ingredients in a bowl and rubbing them together with your fingers until the mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs.
Tip the fruit into the pastry case and scatter the crumble on top.
Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 200 C, GM 6, 400 F
Enjoy with cream, custard, ice cream or just dusted with icing sugar.