Saturday, 15 September 2012

Two Blackberry and Apple Recipes For You

Well, I am glad that week is over. So busy, so much to-ing and fro-ing from school to nursery to home then back to school again... Lots of highs and lows, walking away from dropping off Angus feeling like the worst mother in the world, and then relief that he is enjoying himself and settling in (despite noisy tears and tantrums when I leave him). There have been many moments over the last five years when I have craved the silence of an empty house, but I found it strange this week. I couldn't settle or relax. I have done a lot of housework and am, frankly, astounded at how much you can achieve in two hours without small people around you. Lots of adjustments for us all. And when the going gets tough, the tough go into the kitchen and turn on Radio 4 and do some cooking.

So, as we move slowly from Summer into Autumn, here are two recipes that make the most of the seasonal fruit available and do rather well for hot and cold days.

This recipe was something of a revelation to me. I caught the last few minutes of a recipe similar to this on Woman's Hour last week and it sounded so good, and so easy, that I had a go. It's like a sorbet but more grainy and the flavours are intensely fruity, sharp and sweet at the same time. Honestly, you have to try it, it is amazing, and I'm not one to brag about my mediocre cooking skills.

  • 300g or 10 oz blackberries
  • 300g or 10 oz peeled, chopped and cored apples (3 large or 4 medium apples will do)
  • a couple of tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet your tooth is.
  • single cream

  • Stew the fruit and sugar gently in a pan with a little water until it is reduced to a pulp.
  • Pour the fruit through a sieve into a bowl and let it slowly drip through. I left mine dripping for about half an hour, stirring it and pushing it through the sieve every now and then.
  • The contents of the bowl should have the consistency of a smoothie. Taste to check  it is sweet enough. If you want to add more sugar at this stage, use icing sugar so that it dissolves easily.
  • Pour this into a freezer-proof lidded dish (I used tupperware) so that it is about one inch deep. Discard the fruit pulp left in the sieve.
  • Freeze for a couple of hours until it is very softly frozen. Stir it with a fork so that it changes from one solid lump into a grainy mixture, and then it is ready to serve.
We ate ours with a little single cream, which worked really well with the sharp fruit, but you could use yogurt or creme fraiche, or just eat it on it's own. It did occur to me afterwards that a little alcohol, like Bol's Cassis or Calvados would be very nice in this. Mmm, apple and Calvados granita, that's got me thinking... 

And here is something for the colder nights, when it gets dark early and you want comfort food and lots of custard. I've seen about ten recipes for blackberry and apple crumble in blogland lately, it's obviously a good-un, but what the heck, I've uploaded the photos, so I'll post it anyway.


  • 300 grams or 10 oz blackberries
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 170 grams or 6 oz plain flour
  • 140 grams or 5 oz sugar
  • 115 grams or 4 oz butter
  • 60 grams or 2 oz oats
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F/gas mark 4.
  • Scatter the fruit in the bottom of an oven proof dish. Provided your apples are fairly thinly sliced, there is no need to cook or stew the fruit first.
  • With your fingers or a food processor, mix together the flour, sugar, butter and oats until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  • Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the fruit.
  • Bake for around 45 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the crumble mixture is cooked. 
Serve with custard, cream or ice cream, whatever is your preference. We ate ours with custard, the bright yellow straight-out-of-a-packet kind, and very delicious it was too.

I've always fancied making an apple crisp. I think these are like an American version of a crumble but with more oats so that the topping is like a crispy flapjack, rather than soft and crumbly. If anyone has any advice or recipes, that would be much appreciated.

Have a great weekend - I am going on a knitting course with some friends. I will of course report back! x


A Normandy kitchen said...

We are just about to go out and start picking our blackberries and I wasn't sure what to do with them. The granita is exactly what I feel like eating as I have enough jam! Thank you!!
Have a good weekend!
- Ivan

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Just to reassure you, most of the children who cry are perfectly fine once their Mums have reached the school gates! He will soon settle! Ada :)

Donna said...

My mouth is watering. I've never tried granita before but want to now, and apple & blackberry crumble is a winter staple here. Hope you enjoyed your knitting course! xx

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Granita, yum! I'm blackberry picking again tomorrow ... guess what I'll be making?!

Morten and Me said...

Bright yellow custard from the packet or tin is the bestest! :)

Jo said...

Yum, I do love a crumble. Can't wait to hear about the knitting course.

cassie said...

your crumble looks delicious! and i agree that heading into the kitchen and turning on the radio almost always makes everything better.

Julia said...

Yum!! They look delicious! I am really craving something sweet now. Enjoy your knitting course and I look forward to hearing all about it.

trishie said...

Looks so delish and pretty. Love anything with berries in them!

Gillian said...

I hope you like it. I'm sure you will find ways to improve or perfect that recipe!

Gillian said...

Thanks Ada, that is kind of you. I know deep down he is fine. He settles after I've gone and is always smiling when I go to collect him.

Gillian said...

It was great! I need to master increasing and decreasing now, and reading patterns...feeling very inspired! xx

Gillian said...

I hope you like it, I thought it was lush. And it's all fruit so healthy ish, depending on how much sugar and cream you add... :-)

Gillian said...

I totally agree! Homemade custard is delish but a bit of a faff to make - give me Ambrosia any time! x

Gillian said...

It was fun. Lots to take in but I am feeling very inspired to have a go at some (easy!) patterns. x

Gillian said...

Cooking is the best sort of therapy. Except when things don't rise, or the cake makes you gain weight, then it's depressing ;-)

Gillian said...

Thanks, I love puddings, but they are not good for my waist line! The knitting course was fun, i am feeling very inspired.

Gillian said...

I love berries. And you can tell yourself it's healthy too!

Col | Hello Olive said...

oh my goodness, yum and yum! When my son started play school earlier this year I was a bit lost too. That 1st day I got home and cleaned the oven! Clearly deluded :-) x

Jen said...

Perfect timing! We've just spent an hour picking apples and blackberries and have so many I'll be in the kitchen all week! Crumble was on my must list, but granita? What a fab idea. x

Gillian said...

It may be getting a bit nippy for frozen desserts now. Although, that's never stopped me wanting to open the Ben and Jerrys in January before! x

Gillian said...

Col, I only clean my oven before my Mum comes to stay. I cleaned the insides of the windows last week - no idea why, I was just filled with this restless energy. x