Four Blackberry Recipes for August

Blackberries are one of my favourite things about the long, late summer days of August. This year, thanks to the rain and blazing sun, they’ve been particularly bountiful. On my allotment, the bramble bushes (some deliberate and some, ah, not) have been weighed down by berries, most of them plump and bursting with purple, gritty juice. Blackberries picked from brambles and hedgerows have their own taste and scent; a musky, deep, almost feral sweetness and fragrance that sets them apart from any other berry.

Since they’re heavy in the hedgerows right now, I thought I’d share a few past recipes, to make the most of the blackberry harvest before rain and coming autumn catches hold of them.

Blackberry Madeleines

Madeleines are so simple, yet ridiculously moreish, and I love them combined with a burst of blackberry in the centre of each.

Blackberry Madeleines on wooden background © Laura Madeleine
Blackberry Madeleines

Hazelnut Cake with a Blackberry Sloe Gin Glaze

One of my all-time favourites, this. Toasted hazelnuts and a deep, sweet, sticky glaze, flavoured with home-made sloe gin. (Though of course you could replace the sloe gin with creme de mure, or a cordial of your choice).

A picture of a cake with blackberry glaze and fresh blackberries
Hazelnut Cake with Blackberry Sloe Gin Glaze

Blackberry and Bay Galette

A super easy, stick-in-the-oven-and-forget dessert, and a good addition to Sunday lunch. I love the combination of blackberry and slightly bitter, botanical bay leaf.

Blackberry and bay galette with cream
Blackberry, Bay and Apple Galette

Blackberry Crumble Cupcakes

An oldie but a goodie from my days on the cake beat at Domestic Sluttery; these blackberry crumble cupcakes are a way to combine cake AND crumble in an explosion of blackberry stickiness.

blackberry crumble cupcakes

And of course, if you’re not in the mood for cake, there’s always jam, or a good, old fashioned crumble, or even gin (I always add a handful of blackberries to my sloe-gin). Does anyone else have favourite, go-to blackberry recipes? Drop me a line below or over on Twitter or Instragram to share!

And if you liked these recipes, there are plenty more where those came from via my newsletter, which goes out monthly to subscribers with free short stories, recipes, news and more.

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Blackberry, Bay and Hazelnut Galette

I’ve been obsessed with blackberry and bay ever since reading about it in Bee Wilson’s wonderful article about jam for the Financial Times. There, she wrote about London Borough of Jam in Hackey, where owner Lillie O’Brien makes a blackberry and bay jam that is “dark, rich and full of back-to-school autumnal promise”. It was only then I remembered that I had read about blackberry and bay as a flavour combination before, in Olivia Potts’ Vintage Chef column. (She makes blackberry and bay jam filled doughtnuts. Aaaaah).

The joy of a galette is that they are super easy to make, and even easier to stick in the oven and forget about for half an hour. The bay leaf adds a subtle flavour; a kind of grown-up, botanical muskiness to the jammy berries.

It’s also incredibly easy to make this recipe vegan, as most ready-made pastry uses vegetable fat. Just replace the egg-glaze with nut or oat milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 100g whole or blanched hazelnuts
  • 400g blackberries, defrosted if frozen
  • 1 large cooking apple
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 6 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 egg or 2 tbsp of milk, to glaze
  • clotted cream, to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Take the pastry out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. Place the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan and toast over a low heat for around 3-4 minutes. Keep your eye on them; they burn easily.
  4. If they still have their skins, tip into a clean tea towel and rub vigorously to remove. It doesn’t matter if some stay on.
  5. Use a hand blender or spice grinder to grind the nuts (I like to leave a few chunky bits) and set aside.
  6. Peel, core and roughly slice the apple. Place into a bowl with 200g of the blackberries, 4 tbsp of the muscovado sugar and the mixed spice. Toss together and set aside.
  7. Place the remaining blackberries in a pan, along with 3 tbsp of water, the caster sugar and the bay leaves. Place over a low heat, stirring regularly for around 8-10 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and blackberries have broken down to form a compote-like texture. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. To assemble the galette, roll the pastry on a floured surface into circle slightly larger than a dinner plate. Transfer to the baking tray.
  9. Scatter all but 1 tbsp of the hazelnuts across the pastry, stopping about an inch from the edge, then scatter over 1 tbsp of muscovado sugar.
  10. Heap the apples and blackberries into the middle of the pastry.
  11. Take the bay leaves out of the compote, then spoon it over the mound of fruit.
  12. Fold the edges of the galette into the centre, leaving a hole in the middle.
  13. Brush the pastry with beaten egg or milk, then scatter with the remaining hazelnuts and sugar.
  14. Bake in the oven for around 40-45 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown and the fruit is bubbling.
  15. Serve straight away, with a large scoop of clotted cream.

This recipe first appeared in the November edition of my newsletter. Head over here to subscribe for exclusive recipes, news, photos, sneak previews of books, and more.