Tag Archives: blackberry

“Blackberry Bubbles”

“Blackberry Bubbles” is a festive drink for this winter season, that I created using our homemade Blackberry Vodka or Blackberry Brandy.

Pour a measure of either the vodka or brandy into a champagne flute. Top up with either champagne, prosecco or any sparkling white wine, chilled.

Enjoy!

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Blackberry Vodka Update

My next drink to sieve and bottle, after the Sloe Vodka, was my Blackberry Vodka. This was completely different to the first drink, as it was much darker and richer looking and when I opened the bottle for the first time, it had a stronger sweeter smell too.

After sieving the more syrupy liquid through my cheese cloth, I noticed that the blackberries left behind had turned a rich raspberry red colour. I then poured myself a small measure and was very happy with the results! Having a sweet tooth, this drink was really sweet and delicious and had a nice kick to it as well. I was really pleased at this point, as both drinks had been a success. It’s a shame I promised to give most of it away for xmas!!

I really recommend anyone wanting to try making their first homemade alcoholic drink, to give this easy recipe a go. The results are worth it!

Now, I wonder if there is anything I can make with the leftover vodka infused blackberries?

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Blackberry and Apple Jam

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Blackberry and Apple jam is a perfect autumn recipe – delicious, straightforward and very satisfying, especially when the fruit comes straight from the garden, making it organic too. I love that this is another of those family recipes handed down from generation to generation. As ever, I asked my mum where she first learnt about it and this is what she told me…

My grandma always said that blackberries should not be picked in October as they must be left for the rest of nature to enjoy and also the witches! I disobeyed her this year as the blackberries were so plentiful and juicy and hoped that there was enough for us all! Her jam recipe is a favourite of mine as I remember having it piled onto hot toast for tea as the evenings drew in. A good Autumn recipe. It is also good on real vanilla ice-cream.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
4lbs (1.8g) Blackberries
1½lbs (680g) Cooking Apples
½pint Water
Juice of ½lemon
Sugar – either jam sugar or granulated

1 Put the blackberries and ¼ pint of water into a pan and simmer until the fruit is soft. They can be left whole or sieved to remove seeds.

2 Peel, core & slice apples, add remaining water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender and cook together until thick.

3 Weigh the pulp and add equal amounts of warmed sugar and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.

4 * Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.

5 Leave to cool slightly in the pan, having removed any scum that collects around the edge, and stir.

6 Pour into warm sterilised jars, leave to cool and cover.

Enjoy!

* NB To know if the setting point is reached, put a saucer to get cold in the fridge. Remove the pan from the heat, pour a teaspoonful of the jam onto the cold saucer and if the jam wrinkles when pushed with the finger setting point has been reached. If it doesn’t wrinkle put it back on the heat and cook and test until it does.

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Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

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Having already made lots of delicious things with all the blackberries I had foraged a few weeks before, I wanted to make something completely different and outside of my ‘comfort zone’, so I started searching for food blogs using blackberries in other ways.

I then stumbled across Donal Skehans excellent blog The Good Mood Food Blog and some of the delicious things he was making with blackerries over in Ireland.

I first noticed his Blackberry Coulis recipe which is very similar to my own Blackberry Compote one and then saw the superb cupcakes he had made using his coulis. Having never made any cakes in my adult life, this was the challenge I wanted and so I set about getting the few ingredients I didnt have in my cupboard or fridge, before having a go at making them and doing his recipe proud! As Donal quotes, ‘This recipe makes delicious, light and moist cupcakes with a fruity taste’.

What I discovered, like so many other recipes I try, it wasnt overly complicated to do, you just needed to follow the instructions step by step.

So I started by making his Blackberry Coulis, so that it was then ready for me to use in the cupcake mixture later on. Once I had sieved it and let it cool, I started on my baking adventure, thinking I was going to get flour and eggs everywhere and dreading the washing up after. Suprisingly, for the time I spent in the kitchen, I only used 3 bowls and a saucepan and hardly made a mess at all!

Again, not having any ink in my printer (I must remember to buy some) I brought my laptop into the kitchen so I could follow Donal’s recipe. It was a total clash of technology and cuisine going on in my small kitchen, epecially when I got my LED beeping electronic scales out too!

I got everything ready to bake, with my girlfriend on hand in the living room watching ‘Come Dine With Me’ (being the normal master home baker), just incase I messed anything up.

All I can say is that they were great fun to make! Everything was so easy, and after spending all that time in the kitchen making them, all I wanted to do was eat one.

I made sure the cakes properly cooled before spooning on the frosting, and then put them aside to set. Once I was happy that they were ready to eat, I had my first one and it was totally delicious! My girlfriend was very impressed at my baking, so I continued into the evening, using the rest of the cake mixture to make a dozen more, so that I could freeze some and have them on other occasions, especially as I have some of the coulis left too.

If anyone wants to have a go and making some fruity cupcakes, then I suggest you have a go at these as the are fantastic!
 
 

Blackberry Coulis

Makes about 150ml/¼ pint

250g Blackberries
50g Golden caster sugar
½ tsp Vanilla extract

1 Put the blackberries and sugar into a small pan with 100ml/31⁄2fl oz water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins until the fruit is soft. Stir in the vanilla, remove and cool a little.

2 Tip the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor, and whizz to a purée, then strain through a sieve, rubbing it through with the back of a ladle or spoon.

Serve warm or chilled.

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The coulis will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
 
 

For the main recipe:

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Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

(Recipe adapted from Donal Skehan)

Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
6 tbsp Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Blackberry coulis (made earlier)

For the frosting:
8 oz Cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups Powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp Blackberry coulis
Blackberries for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180C.

1 Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

2 In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3 In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions.

4 In another bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and blackberry coulis. Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until just combined. Mix in the blackberry coulis/milk mixture. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.

5 Divide the batter evenly between the prepared paper liners.

6 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and blackberry coulis in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired and garnish with fresh blackberries.

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Blackberry Vodka

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With over 2 pounds of blackberries still in my fridge and freezer from my foraging trips and from my mum’s garden, I didnt want them to go to waste – so with my last bottle of vodka free after making my Sloe Vodka, I decided to make Blackberry Vodka, as I thought it would appeal more to my sweet tooth! A quick look online and the recipes were identical to the recipes I had already blogged about for the Sloe Vodka and Blackberry Brandy. This was perfect, as I had a spare large plastic container and some caster sugar in the cupboard. Once mixed, it joined my other bottles fermenting in my dark cupboard, waiting for xmas to come out and be tasted… well drunk and enjoyed with friends and family!

12ozs Blackberries
6ozs Caster sugar
75cl Vodka

1 Mix the blackberries with the sugar and then add them to a large storage bottle or container with the vodka.

3 Store the bottle in a cool dark cupboard and shake it every other day for a week. Then shake it once a week for two months.

4 The blackberry vodka will take on a beautiful dark red colour and will be ready to drink.

5 After two to three months, pour the mixture into bottles through a funnel lined with fine mesh or cheesecloth and store in a cool place again.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please come back and let me know!

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Blackberry Compote

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Having made plenty of savoury goodies with the foraged fruits (aside from the crumble) I thought it was about time to make something sweet with some of my fresh blackberries.

So I decided to make something that would go great as an accompaniment with lots of puddings. So after reading a Brian Turner recipe, I decided to have a go at making a Blackberry Compote. It was very simple to create and it tastes so good, especially with Vanilla Ice Cream and natural yoghurt. I’m sure it would be perfect for hot puddings too!

If you have any left over blackberries and some sugar in the cupboard, you have to give this a go.

340g Blackberries
55g Sugar
1 tbsp Water

1 Put the sugar, water and half of the blackberries into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

2 Blend with a hand-held mixer or put into a food processor and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds.

3 Return mixture to a clean saucepan and bring it back to the boil, adding a little water if it is too thick or a squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary.

4 Add the rest of the blackberries and take off the heat immediately.

Serve either warm or cold with a pudding of your choice!

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Blackberry Brandy

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Having collected too many blackberries last week, I decided I would try other suggestions I had read about of Blackerry Brandy. This would probably make a more enjoyable xmas present for my Dad than the Sloe Vodka!!

The great thing was, it was so much easier to make than the Sloe Vodka too – no pricking the fruit involved thank god. Other than that the recipe is the same, substituting Brandy for Vodka and Blackerries for Vodka – ta da!!

12ozs Blackberries
6ozs Caster sugar
75cl Brandy

1 Mix the blackberries with the sugar and then add them to a large storage bottle or container with the brandy.

3 Store the bottle in a cool dark cupboard and shake it every other day for a week. Then shake it once a week for two months.

4 The blackberry brandy will take on a even deeper reddish brown colour than the sloe vodka and be ready to drink.

5 After two to three months, pour the mixture into bottles through a funnel lined with fine mesh or cheesecloth and store in a cool place again.

Simple!

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Proof is in the pudding…

and in the vinegar it seems!

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After enjoying another hour of foraging for fruits in our local wood as we promised ourselves, we ended up with another 2 pounds of blackberries, 2 pounds of sloes and half a pound of elderberries.

Once home we started the cooking and baking process, with my girlfriend making me a Blackberry and Apple Crumble for the first time ever, while I attempted to make mum’s recipe of Blackberry Vinegar.

The smell around the house of cooking blackberries was so intoxicating! All our pots and pans were taking on a deep red glaze as was the sink when it came to washing them all.

Having never made anything like this before I think the results were fantastic. We had some of the blackberry vinegar with some salad leaves and brie to start and had some of the delicious crumble for pudding. I am now converted into home baking especially with home grown and foraged produce. I am already looking forward to supper tonight as more of the crumble will be enjoyed!

Now to decide what to do with the sloes and elderberries…

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Blackberry and Apple Crumble (Gluten Free)

First read… Proof is in the pudding…

8ozs Blackberries
1 large cooking apple
1 tabelspoon caster sugar for the fruit
4ozs Gluten free flour
2ozs Stork/Cooking margarine
3 tabelspoons demerara sugar
Oats for the topping

Use a pre greased oven proof dish for best results.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 Cut the apple into bitesize chunks and place in a non stick saucepan along with the blackberries. Add some boiling water and the tablespoon of caster sugar and heat until the apples are soft but have some bite.

2 While thats cooking, mix the flour and cooking margarine in a mixing bowl and sift it through your fingers until it resembles a breadcrumb consistency.

3 Add the 2 tablespoons of demarara sugar to the pasty mix and stir in well.

4 Place the warmed fruit into the greased oven proof dish and cover with the pastry mix.

5 Level the pastry mix with a fork and add a tablespoon of demarara sugar to the topping.

6 Finally add some oats over the top of the dish. Most coeliacs are not allergic to oats if they are not eaten everyday (Source: Coeliacs Society).

7 Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 mins or till the topping is golden brown.

Serve with either cream or custard.

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Blackberry Vinegar

First read… Urban foraging

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12ozs of Blackberries
Quarter teaspoon of peppercorns
1 Cinnamon Stick
Half pint of white wine vinegar
6ozs caster sugar

Bring all the ingredients to the boil gently and then pour them though a strainer.

Add the cooled vinegar to a vinagrette bottle and use as a dressing over salads etc.

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