Good Food



Few things sum up late British summertime better than picking blackberri­es, an empty margarine tub in hand. Provided you’re not trespassin­g on private property, blackberry picking is also a great way of sourcing the ingredient­s for a cheaper summer pud.

Pick a winner

Choose plump berries that are shiny and firm. They can vary in flavour from place to place – seasoned blackberry hunters often have favourite bushes. Avoid any by busy roads (which can become polluted by trac fumes) and fruit low enough to be ‘watered’ by passing dogs. Blackberri­es are at their best from the end of August to September.

How to collect

Although it’s hard to resist raiding every hedgerow, remember to leave some for the wildlife as well as other foragers. Try not to stack loads of berries on top of one another in your container, or they’ll bruise and squash before you get them home. (Use a couple of containers if you want to pick lots.) Take gardening gloves to protect from thorns, and consider bringing a coat hanger, too – handy for pulling down high branches, which often contain the best berries.

How to store

Wash and dry your blackberri­es, then store them in the fridge in a container lined with kitchen paper. Keep the blackberri­es dry while storing and they should last for two to three days. Don’t worry if you’ve picked more than you can handle – blackberri­es are easily frozen, and can be baked straight from the freezer with no need to defrost. Freeze them on a tray in a single layer first so they don’t all squish together, then transfer to a freezerpro­of container. Or purée them and freeze the liquid in a bag or ice cube tray.

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