Blackberry Basil Lemonade Rainbow Plant Life)
If you’ve gone overboard at the PYO farm, here are some recipes to ensure blackberries don’t go to waste (like strawberries, they don’t ripen after picking so pick them fully purple or black, but you need to eat them up quickly (store in the salad crisper and only wash just before use). Unless freezing. Blackberries are enjoyed by badgers, squirrels and dormice and also eaten by caterpillars (butterflies feed on the juice). Best enjoyed in late summer, they are less sweet when wet weather arrives in autumn (an English folk tale says that this is because the Devil pees on the bushes, as revenge for falling from Heaven onto a thorny blackberry bush!) Many Christians believe that the purple resembles the blood of Christ and the thorns His ‘crown of thorns’ when crucified.
The study of blackberries is called ‘batology’ (not the study of bats!) The study and praise of blackberries inspired the wonderful American writer Christina Crook to write her book The Joy of Missing Out. This (successful) attempt at a 31-Internet fast came after she heard a Priest blessing blackberries – but then realising he was talking about the electrical gadgets, not the beautiful fruits that grow for us to eat. Thinking the world had finally gone mad, she decided to cut back on technology!
Mash blackberries for babies (after weaning around 6 months), children and anyone at risk of choking. Keep these and raspberries away from pets (contain trace amounts of pet-toxic sweetener xylitol (also found in gum and toothpaste). Keep these recipes away from pets due to toxic ingredients (fruit pips/seeds, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, chocolate etc).
Blackberry Cobbler (Minimalist Baker)
In moderation, blackberries keep you regular although too many can give you the runs! Blackberry tea was the prescribed medicine during the Civil War. There were even peaceful truces, so each set of soldiers could go off foraging. You can make a homemade food dye by squeezing fresh blackberry juice through a cheesecloth to turn your cakes and frostings purple. Blackberry jam is low in pectin, so you’ll need citrus juice and jam sugar to help it set (and a sugar thermometer). You also need sterilised jars and lids (clean and bake in a low oven for 15 minutes) then ladle stirred jam into jars, seal and label.
Vegan Blackberry Bakewell Tart (Lazy Cat Kitchen) is a unique take on the Derbyshire dessert, made with natural ingredients.
Blackberry Lime Scones (Short Girl, Tall Order) are made in one bowl. Soft and flaky, all the fresh flavours of summer.
Vegan White Chocolate Blackberry Magnums (Addicted to Dates) is a nice simple recipe, by a talented Irish baker.
This Vegan Blackberry Fool (Tesco) looks as elegant enough to serve in a 5-star restaurant. But in fact all it needs a glut of leftover blackberries (with a few more to garnish), a little lemon juice, natural sweetener and some coconut yoghurt, finished off with plant-based cream. Just layer everything up for the perfect autumnal or winter dessert.