Nature's Gifts

November 24, 2015

Having recently moved from the city centre to the countryside, I was determined to get out and make the most of it.  We moved just in time to see this year’s wild blackberries coming through on the brambles – something which always reminds me of being a child and being taken by my grandfather to harvest some of the local fruits. 

As it happens, I also inherited a beautiful apple tree when I moved into the new house, and it has not disappointed with its crop this year.  Seeing the fruit from the tree and all of the berries that were growing right on my doorstep made me think that I should be making more of the things that don’t need any transportation or packaging.

So when some friends came to visit, and I realised that we would need to find something considerably less urban than we were used to for the weekend’s entertainment, I decided we should go blackberry picking.  We found a lovely little wood, not too far from Edinburgh, where we could have a great walk, and it was full of ripe brambles.  The walk was a little cold, and a little damp, but when we got home, I used the blackberries we’d picked, and the apples from the garden to make a hot crumble – which was the perfect way to round off our day.  Here is the recipe, in case you’d like to give it a go:


Blackberry and apple crumble (serves 4)

6 small apples

100g blackberries

150g plain flour

75g golden caster sugar

75g butter (cubed)


1. Cut the apples into small cubes.  Add to a saucepan with about two tablespoons of water, and sugar to taste.  Cook gently until soft (almost mushy)

2. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips, until it resembles a bread-crumb-like structure.  When fully combined, add the sugar and mix well

3. Add the blackberries and the apples to an oven-proof dish and cover with the crumble mix.  Smooth out the surface

4. Bake at 190oC/gas 5, for about 30 minutes, until golden and the juices being to ooze out over the topping

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