Berry season is pretty much over, which makes me sad! But the other day I came across a punnet of blackberries in the shop and couldn’t resist. I love blackberries. I remember as a child walking the dogs on a field at the end of our road and it being surrounded by blackberry bushes. We would wander around with a bag and fill it with the big juicy berries. Now of course at the time I decided just to be fussy that I didn’t like blackberries so they were enjoyed by everyone but me but I remember the picking, trying to avoid the thorns (badly) and getting cover in blood-red juice when you pulled them off the bush to hard.
Now older and wiser to the magical berries that grow on the hedgerows around the UK I miss the innocence of berry picking. When its berry season the supermarkets are full of the things, blue berries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries – they are everywhere. You cannot help but by punnet after punnet and top your morning granola with them, or stick some in a pot for a lunch time snack, or for something a little cheekier, put them on top of meringue and cream. Living in the city I do miss being close to hedgerows, passing a big green bush covered in dark plump berries. It just makes you want to go for a walk in the countryside!
Alas, the season is over so when I come across some fabulous looking berries I must have them. After finishing half the box rather quickly just standing in the kitchen I decided something need to be baked with them. Everyone suggested an apple and blackberry crumble, but with a hatred for crumble I decided to go out on a limb and try a blackberry and apple crumble loaf!
This loaf is perfect when it’s still slightly warm either on its own, or if you want something a little naughty pop a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on it! Yum!
300g Plain Flour
1tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
190g Caster Sugar
1 large egg, beaten
100g butter, melted
finely grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
250g Bramley apple, grated ( use some kitchen paper to absorb some of the water from it)
For the Crumble
25g plain flour
15g Demerara sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan oven), line a loaf tin and set aside
2. First make the crumble, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir the sugar in and work the mixture to form small nuggets.
3. On to the loaf mix, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. In another bowl, beat the milk with the egg, melted butter and lemon zest.
4. Stir the wet mixture into the flour and sugar mixture, then stir in the apple and blackberries.
5. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and sprinkle over the crumble topping. Bake in the oven for approx 1 hour 15 mins ( I would check it after 1 hour and see how wet a skewer comes out). Bake until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Let the load cool for about 15mins in the tin and then leave to completely cool on a baking tray. Slice it up and serve with a cup of tea or with some ice cream!