The fall guys

It’s hard to beat the clas­sic combo of ap­ples and black­ber­ries, says Rachel Allen, who loves cook­ing them to­gether in pies and pud­dings. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Tony Gavin

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

With each sea­son, comes a mag­i­cal pair­ing that works ev­ery time: goose­berry and el­der­flower; tomato and basil; and wild salmon and as­para­gus. These are just some of na­ture’s pre­cious bounty that hap­pen to grow to­gether, if even just for a short, bliss­ful cross­over of time .

An­other of Mother Na­ture’s clever co­in­ci­dences is that black­ber­ries and ap­ples both fruit con­cur­rently, mak­ing them the Brad and An­gelina of au­tumn. Piled into a pie, baked in a crum­ble or stewed to­gether in a jam, these two vi­ta­m­inC-laden fruits com­ple­ment each other per­fectly. The dark, al­most spicy, tan­nin-rich black­berry loves the fresh, sweet, green-ap­ple flavour, and of course, for the best taste and nu­tri­tional kick, go for wild black­ber­ries from the hedgerows and ap­ples from lo­cal trees. As well as their healthy amount of vi­ta­min C, black­ber­ries are also thought to be great for the brain, giv­ing us clar­ity of mind and a good mem­ory too, and if that wasn’t enough, they’re even ap­plauded for help­ing to tighten the skin — Bo­tox in a berry, any­one?

This ap­ple and black­berry fool, right, is an old-fash­ioned goodie, one that’s just great af­ter a Sun­day roast, with the crumbly, but­tery short­bread bis­cuits, below right, dipped in for good mea­sure.

The Ir­ish ap­ple and black­berry cake, below right, is a vari­a­tion of an old Bal­ly­maloe recipe that uses just ap­ples. This is the kind of cake that most farm­houses would have seen a ver­sion of in the last cen­tury — give me a slice of this cake with a cup of tea, and I’m very happy.

The crunchy ap­ple and black­berry oat crum­ble, above right, is a new favourite of mine, com­bin­ing a fruity crum­ble base with a top­ping of sweet caramelised al­monds and oats. And lastly, should you have a glut of black­ber­ries, why not try a shot of the black­berry vodka, far right? Any more and I wouldn’t count on clar­ity of mind and ex­cel­lent mem­ory.

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