Treasures of the Laois Countryside
Blackberries, Rubus fruticocus
Blackberries; despite their ferocious thorns, are worth the bother for those delicious juicy berries, and it might help to know that the leaves, flowers and even fresh young shoots are also edible.
It’s a little late in year for leaves so lets talk about the berries. They contain high levels of Vit C,K and folic acid, Manganese and antioxidants.
Blackberries are good for sore throats and joint stiffness.
Here is a recipe for a delicious moist cake, a salad dressing and a tasty crumble. Both the cake and crumble are Wheat and Dairy free.
You will need,
Springform cake tin 22cm,
Hand held electric beater or mixer.
2 Mixing bowls.
300 grams ground Almonds,
5 eggs separated,
Zest of organic orange,
150 grams caster sugar,
Cup full of Blackberries.
Half teaspoon of baking powder.
Heat oven to 175 degress, lightly oil cake tin and line base with baking parchment.
In mixing bowl beat the egg yolks with half sugar till pale.Stir the baking powder through the ground almonds.Fold the almonds into the beaten eggs in 3 batches. In a separate bowl beat the egg white with remaining sugar till it forms soft peaks. Fold the egg whites and orange zest into the mixture to lighten.
Transfer mixture to cake tin using a spatula, scatter Blackberries over the top to almost completely cover cake. As the cake bakes the Blackberries release juice which sinks and flavours and moistens cake even more. Bake for 20-25 mins until firm but not too well-baked.
This is great alone or you could make a syrup from more Blackberries to pour over.
Blackberry and Apple Crumble.
You will need,
Ovenproof baking dish,
Cup to measure.
2 Cups organic oats,
1 Cup ground almonds.
100 grams Demerara sugar.
Quarter cup Sunflower oil or Coconut oil or Butter.
Apples peeled and grated, Blackberries, stalks removed.
In a bowl combine oats sugar and almonds. Rub in oil or butter to get a crumbly texture.
Oil or grease baking dish and add apples and blackberries in whatever proportion you like. Sweeten with a little sugar to taste. Top with crumble mix and bake 25-30 mins till golden on top.
You can make a bigger batch of topping and bake it separately on a tray, cool and store in jar. Now you have ready made topping for fruit, to sprinkle into yogurt or just eat when late night munchies strike.
This topping is easy to adapt, add Cinnamon, use Xylitol instead of sugar, add Lemon zest or currants.
Blackberry vinegar,for salads and winter drinks.
Handful of fresh Blackberries,
Organic Apple cider vinegar.
Put cleaned Blackberries into clip top bottle, pour over vinegar and leave to infuse for a week, delicious, great for a pretty gift. For joint stiffness use a good dash of vinegar with hot water and two teaspoons of honey, drink morning and night.
These wonderful recipes are courtesy of Mary Bulfin. For more information on Wild Food click for Mary Bulfin’s ‘Wild Food Mary’ blog here.