Blackberries, elderberries… Sunday Sevens 2

ladybird book illustration black berry picking

Have you noticed the nights are getting cooler, there is a crispness in the air early mornings, around me winter is slowly creeping in. I have always enjoyed early Autumn –  time  when I return to home comforts after a Summer spent outdoors. I want to nest,  sew with cosy tweed and needle cord, wrap myself in quilts, watch old fashioned black and white films and relish the comforts of and delights of domesticity.

My thoughts turn to Autumn when blackberry picking, so I headed out on Sunday morning to my usual spots.  The the wet August has meant a very poor supply this year, the blackberries were in abundance and full of flowers and tiny berries in May and June but without the August sun to ripen them they have just gone black and mouldy on the bush. There are pockets of small berries desperately trying to ripen before the first frosts so it seemed only right that these efforts  should not go to waste.

blackberry and elderberriesFruit jelly making - letting juice drain

Blackberry picking does demand sacrifice, despite wearing leggings (I never wear them any other time) socks, long teeshirts, I still come away with scars! However, while last year half an hour’s work and the bucket was full, this year over an hour’s picking was not going to make much jam. I spotted a lot of elderberries, so decided to mix the two, into a jelly, as elderberries are quite tart and the blackberries were small so would have made a very ‘seedy’ jam. So I simply simmered the berries gently in a little water then left them to drain in the strainer overnight. It is one of those gadgets that it is really useful to have, mine came from Lakeland years ago.

 

lemons

As I had to wait for the jelly to drain I thought I would make something else…. so here is a clue..

lemon filling

You use the juice and zest of three lemons, combine with two tablespoons of cornflour and water. Stir until the mixture begins to be clear – it will thicken.

Add egg yolks

Add three egg yolks (I had a double yolk egg!) and mix thoroughly until combined.

biscuit base

Add to a prepared digestive biscuit base and allow to cool and set in the fridge.

egg whites

pop the egg whites with three tablespoons of caster sugar into a bowl and whisk until it is solid

Place on a baking tray in a circle to fit the base – place in the baking oven (180) for 20 minutes then transfer to the warming (60)  oven for an hour or so.

lemon meringue pie

Transfer to the top of the base and you have a Lemon Meringue Pie,

(Did you guess correctly?)

patchwork

I have also been making these patchwork flowers using English Piecework.

They are so transportable and useful to take to the pub and watch the Rugby but poor England ;-(

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11 thoughts on “Blackberries, elderberries… Sunday Sevens 2

  1. This looks completely delicious! I’ve only managed to pick 2 lots of blackberries eggs year. The first went into a crumble with some cooking apples but the second weren’t up to much so ended up on the compost heap – perhaps due to the wet August as you said.

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