Our resident chef Mark Hix says 'tis the season to be picking blackberries so get your kids involved

 
Mark Hix
Blackberries and ricotta with honeycomb

Blackberries, or brambles as they’re sometimes referred to, are the one berry that you can still forage for and enjoy when autumn sets in. Depending on the climate, you can harvest blackberries well into late October.

As a kid I used to go out picking blackberries for my gran and she’d make a blackberry and apple pie out of them. It never got more adventurious as that, but if you’re a fan of the classics, you can make a bumper harvest last by freezing them or preserving them in alcohol.

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Blackberries are so versatile, there is no end to what you can use them for. I often do a British version of a zabaglione, an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine, but using Julian Temperley's Pomona or Kingston black cider from Somerset. Or I simply crush them into a dressing to go with game.

Whichever way you use them, blackberries are delicious so it’s well worth the aggravation of confiscating your kids’ iPads and sending them out into the hedgerows to search for them. You never know, they might even enjoy themselves.

Ricotta with honeycomb and blackberries

SERVES 4

This is a really simple and colourful dish to serve at a dinner party. And it’s easy to substitute the blackberries with other berries or figs when they’re in season.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons of room temperature ricotta, softened
  • 100-150g blackberries
  • 30-40g honeycomb, broken into pieces
  • 3-4 tbs clear honey

Method

  • Spoon the ricotta onto serving plates
  • Arrange the blackberries and honeycomb on top
  • Spoon over the honey.­­

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