With rainy weather, falling leaves and darker evenings, fall is definitely here, like it or not.
While the cold, gloomy weather doesn’t sound like much fun, it’s a great excuse to get back to making hot dinners and sweet treats.
It is also the season for picking blackberries.
So the next time you go out for a walk and pick a few blackberries to eat, why not pick up an entire punnet and bake something nice?
Lucy Lord, cook, baker and recipe creator, has shared some recipes that will help you put your berries to good use.
Ripe almond, lemon and thyme galette
“Make the most of seasonal blackberries, paired with lemon, thyme and folded into a toasted almond puff pastry,” says Lucy.
“The pancakes (called crostatas in Italy) are absolutely beautiful.
‘A rustic free-form pastry folded over a sweet or savory filling – simple, quick to assemble, and no special molds needed!’
Preparation time : 20 minutes + 1 hour refrigeration
Cooking time : 30 minutes
- 320g plain flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 220 g butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water
- 450g blackberries, preferably fresh – for frozen, see tips*
- 50 g caster sugar + 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (lemon or regular thyme)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 30g slivered almonds
- 1 beaten egg, for gilding (or use milk)
- Mix flour, sugar and salt together.
- Incorporate the cubes of cold butter and work the dough*.
- Add the beaten egg and stir to combine.
- Add 1 teaspoon of ice water at a time, and mix between each addition until a dough forms and comes together in a ball, being careful not to add too much water. It should be a firm dough that holds together when you “pinch” it. It’s okay if it’s a little sticky.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but up to 3 days.
The wafer :
- Preheat a fan-assisted oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
- Unwrap the cooled dough and lightly flour a surface.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rough 12-13″ circle about 1/4″ thick. “I use a dinner plate or 9″ cake pan to make a slight indent in the center as a guide for where to place the filling,” Lucy explains.
- Once spread, transfer the circle of dough to the baking sheet and prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl, combine the blackberries, sugar, cornstarch and thyme leaves. Squeeze the lemon juice over it and mix again.
- Stack this mixture in a single layer on top of the rolled out puff pastry, leaving enough space around the edges (about 3″).
- Fold in the edges of the dough, pinching the dough at the seams with wet fingers.
- Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush the bottom of the pastry with the egg, then sprinkle with the slivered almonds, pushing them gently to stick together, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown, the slivered almonds are toasted and the filling is bubbling.
- Carefully remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack until ready to serve.
- Serve once cooled to room temperature, with a few scoops of vanilla or honeycomb ice cream.
- if using frozen blackberries, thaw them by washing them in a sieve under cold running water, then letting them air dry before moving them to a kitchen towel to absorb the moisture before using them.
- to blend the cold butter into the flour mixture, you can use a food processor, stand mixer (paddle attachment), or use a pastry cutter or fork. Break up any remaining large clumps by rubbing between your fingers. Aim for a texture of sand or rough, dry soil. Avoid overusing your hands, as this will melt the butter, and we want to keep it as cold as possible for puff pastry.
- Use other seasonal berries like blueberries, mixed berries, or stone fruits like peaches or nectarines.
- Store in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator.
- Uncooked dough will keep in the refrigerator for three days or in the freezer for three months.
No-Churn Blackberry Crumble Ice Cream
“I’m always hesitant to invest in new kitchen equipment because more often than not you use it for maybe a month and then it gathers dust in the cupboard,” says Lucy.
“I don’t have an ice cream maker yet, and now I’m not sure I’ll ever need one!”
‘Sweet, creamy whipped cream and condensed milk as a base, swirled with tart blackberries and a golden, crispy crumble. Ideal in any season, served alone or as an accompaniment to a hot chocolate dessert.
Total time to do: 30 minutes + cooling time
Servings: 16 large balls
- 200g blackberries
- 80g of honey
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 90g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 60g cold butter cut into cubes
- 60g dark brown sugar
- 397 g canned sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or use vanilla extract)
- 480 ml fresh cream
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the blackberries and honey and cook for 5 minutes. They will begin to soften as they simmer.
- Use the back of a fork or potato masher to mash them.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and stir. This will thicken the sauce, which will continue to thicken as it cools. Allow to cool completely before use (store in the refrigerator).
- Preheat a ventilated oven to 200C.
- In a small bowl, use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it forms a wet, sand-like consistency.
- Add sugar and salt, and mix again.
- Pour the crumble mix onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until golden and crispy. Allow to cool completely before use.
- Put an empty 2 lb loaf pan in the freezer.
- In a bowl, combine the condensed milk and vanilla.
- In another bowl, use a hand-held electric whisk to whip the cream at high speed for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form, stopping as soon as they do so you don’t over-beat the cream.
- Pour the condensed milk into the whipped cream and use the electric whisk on the lowest setting to whip until combined.
- Take the cake tin out of the freezer and pour a third of the cream mixture into the bottom of the tin. Smooth with the back of a spoon.
- Pour in 1/3 of the blackberry swirl and use a knife or similar to swirl it around.
- Spread over 1/3 of the crumble.
- Repeat until you have completed three coats.
- Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.
- Once frozen, wrap it in cling film to prevent freezer burn.
- This will keep in the freezer for up to three months.
- Use any other soft fruit or warm up a jam for swirling.
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