I am often in awe of the folk behind some of the fabulous food blogs I follow and how they create beautiful mouth-watering dishes from a variety of home-grown produce, fresh from their very own gardens.
One of my favourite fairy tales when I was a small one was Rapunzel. I used to imagine when I got older, owning a country cottage with a fabulous herb garden (like the one the evil witch in the story owned) to grow my own fresh fruit and vegetables.
Alas, the mammy’s green fingers didn’t quite make it my way. They landed at both sisters – one older, one younger and bypassed me altogether. In fairness to the mother, she has tried so very hard to pass on her knowledge. She constantly gives me gifts of window boxes, plants and more recently a little miniature herb garden which got returned after only a few short weeks – lifeless – longing for her magic touch to reawaken it.
I have also tried really really hard to keep a little plant that the small one potted himself in playschool thriving. I watch over this little pot almost as much as I do the small one. I water it, feed it, talk to it, even get the mother to look in on it occasionally – for that expert touch. Unfortunately it’s not looking very healthy after our long hot summer.
So bearing all this in mind… when I look out the back door of my country house and see the tangled bramble bushes abundant with juicy beautifully formed blackberries, I feel a huge sense of pride. These berries are growing in my garden. Okay… so I didn’t lift a finger to help but they are mine for the taking (and baking). And I understand the excitement and satisfaction all those lovely home growers must feel after picking their harvest and serving up a dish from their garden to their family.
PS. In case you’re wondering what the lovely purple badge to the right is… Bonibakes.com got shortlisted in the Blog Awards Ireland 2013 in the Best Newcomer category.
Wild Blackberry crumble
Serves 6-8 • Baking time approx 30 minutes • Adapted from bbcgoodfood.com
50g castor sugar
For the topping
140g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch of salt
25g castor sugar
25g cold butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Handful of flaked almonds
1. Pre heat oven to 190C/Gas 5/170C (fan). Grease a 22″ pie dish.
2. Wash and rinse the blackberries and place in into the prepared pie dish, sprinkle the castor sugar over them.
To make the topping
1. Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and mix in the castor sugar.
2. Rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Pour in the buttermilk and mix until it forms a soft dough. Then using a dessert spoon, scoop the dough on top of the blackberries. Sprinkle over with the brown sugar and almonds.
4. Bake for approx 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with freshly whipped cream.