It’s time to feel like an Enid Blyton character, get your plastic boxes at the ready, your jam jars sterilised and head out berry picking, as the UK’s peak foraging season is upon us!
Wild blackberries and raspberries can be found in abundance on hedgerows at this time of year, and hunting for juicy ripe berries is a lovely fun activity to do with the children while they’re still off school.
Yes, you might end up with a few bramble-induced scratches, but it’s worth it for that burst of sharp juicy freshness as you pop the berries into your mouth. Do make sure that you aren’t trampling on any plants or causing any damage to bushes while you’re out and about though!
Before you head out, make sure you’ve got some plans for what to do with all those berries when you return. There are only so many fruit pies you can make, so why not try out some of these ideas too?
Wild blackberry jam
Naturally, every first-time forager needs a good jam recipe under their belt, and this wild blackberry jam recipe from I’d Much Rather Bake Than takes you through everything you need to know about getting started with making your own jam. Aside from your berries, all you’ll need is lemon juice and granulated sugar, and some jars, of course.
Of course, you could switch the blackberries for raspberries, or use a mix of both depending on what’s in your berry picking haul.
Berry smoothies always go the most beautiful pinky, purpley colour, and they’re absolutely packed with goodness, so they’re an excellent option for your post-foraging abundance of berries.
A Daily Smoothie has a lovely recipe for an easy (and super healthy) smoothie that features both blackberries and raspberries, and would be perfect for making in a Tefal Blender. Place a few whole berries on top of your finished drink and stick in a colourful straw (a paper one, of course) to make this healthy brekkie extra Instagrammable.
Blackberry sauce for duck
Aside from cranberry sauce on our Christmas turkey, we don’t often eat berries with meat, but we think that’s going to have to change now we’ve stumbled across this recipe for a blackberry hoisin sauce by From the Larder, which is perfect with duck.
Forget your orange sauce or your plum sauce from the takeaway next Friday night; spend your evening making this from scratch instead, and you’ll feel so much more sophisticated.
The recipe should make you enough to keep for around six months too, so you can have it every week – just think how much money you’ll save on takeaways; remember, those berries were free! Kerching.
For example, drizzle it over a stack of freshly made pancakes for a beautiful weekend brunch treat, swirl it through the topping for a homemade cheesecake to add a sharp zing of extra flavour, whip up some waffles in your Tefal Snack Collection to be covered in this gorgeous sauce, or pour it onto vanilla ice cream for a dessert reminiscent of your childhood treats from the ice cream van – extra points if you add in a Cadbury Flake.
Berries are simply stunning in gin, and infusing your favourite tipple of the moment with your hand-picked blackberries will make for a wonderfully unique drink to serve guests at your next gathering.
A Life of Geekery’s recipe for blackberry-infused gin is beautifully summery and refreshing, and would go brilliantly with soda water or classic tonic for a well-deserved drink at the end of a long day. Adding the recommended drop of lemon in there helps to sweeten the tartness of the berries, while still keeping the beverage wonderfully sharp.
Gluten-free blackberry brownies
Using berries in a chocolate brownie makes them oh-so fudgy and just amazingly tempting to sink your teeth into. Giraffes Can Bake has an excellent recipe for gluten-free brownies that feature blackberries. Brownies that include one of your five a day sound like a pretty good idea to us!
Serve them with vanilla ice cream or clotted cream and some more of your wild berries for extra goodness/naughtiness all at the same time.
Lemon and fresh raspberry cupcakes
Raspberries and lemon make a sensational partnership, and they work fabulously in these lemon cupcakes with fresh raspberry buttercream icing courtesy of What Jessica Baked Next.
Your Tefal Blender will come in handy again for these, helping you to blitz your foraged raspberries into a coulis that you’ll be able to stir into your icing sugar/butter icing mixture for a sharp, fresh taste that’ll balance perfectly with that light lemon sponge. Berry good indeed.