Bramble season in the Hebrides, much later than on the mainland. The blackberries we picked last weekend were sharp and flavourful, juicy and small. I’ve frozen some for making bramble jelly later, but I made a crumble for Malcolm, because he loves it.
1 very large cooking apple
around 200g blackberries
1 tbsp date syrup or dark brown sugar
a pinch of cinnamon, or allspice
180g self-raising flour
Preheat the oven to 180C
Make a crumble mix – rub the butter into the flour and then add the sugar. You can add porridge oats, ground nuts, use brown sugar, or add spices if you wish.
Peel and chop the cooking apple, and then combine with the blackberries and the date syrup and allspice (or other sugar, sweet spice).
Put the fruit evenly in the bottom of an oven-proof dish, then cover with the crumble mix.
Bake for around 30 minutes, then serve with custard or cream.
Dear Angela. Here is the original recipe for the chutney. I got this from Christina at the surgery, whose mother got it from a friend. The quantities are quite ‘loose’ and depend on what is in the store cupboard.
2 lb cooking apples
as much garlic as you like
1 3/4 pints malt vinegar
1 lb dates, stones out and chopped
1 lb raisins
1 lb brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp salt
ginger, peeled and grated, if wished
Chop the unpeeled apples, garlic and ginger, and simmer in a pan with the vinegar, until soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring regularly.
Makes about 6 jars. The recorder of the recipe advises keeping your fingers crossed; I suspect because she is free and easy with the quantities.