Every week, only in LIFE
My daughter, Scarlett, is an intrepid forager. It used to be me who suggested a walk along the hedges near our house to collect blackberries. Now, though, she gets out an assortment of Tupperware containers and convinces me that it's time to gather the sweet, juicy berries. Scarlett loves to carefully pick her way around the spiky branches, filling all her vessels, which are then taken home and added to jams, puddings and pies, or stirred through autumn's first bowl of steaming porridge.
There is a certain magic to combining apples and blackberries. It's one of nature's quirks that often ingredients that grow together go together, and as blackberries appear, so the apples are ripe for harvest.
I have put apples and blackberries in to all sorts of different desserts. This bread-and-butter pudding is one of my favourites — the rich, thick custard a perfectly comforting foil to the sweet fruit and crisp, crunchy bread. I also like that it can be made in advance and left in the fridge overnight, uncooked. If you’re making it this way, don't heat up the milk and cream — add them cold to the whisked eggs and sugar.
A crumble is one of the simplest desserts to bake. The topping takes only minutes to make and often the chopped fruit can be put in, uncooked. For the blackberry-and-apple crumble recipe opposite, I cook the apples with sugar first. This softens them and allows you to taste and adjust sugar levels, depending on their natural sweetness or sourness.