Season of Mellow Fruitfulness

Last weekend the weather here was glorious, so we decided to head out for a family walk and forage around Holcombe Hill.  It was lovely to get out in what’s probably going to be the last of the really warm weather up here.

The hill was popular with other walkers and foragers too.  We met quite a few people filling bags with the abundance of blackberries.

P1240393I decided to see if we could collect any of the late whimberries as well – I must have been affected by the heat!

This has to have been the longest walk up Holcombe Hill ever!  It took us over 2 hours to get to the top.  Mind you we were laden down with quite a lot of fruit.  I just about managed to fill a small pot with the last of this years whimberries, but the blackberry box was ridiculously heavy!  I think it’s been a great year for blackberries.  There were loads and they were big too, not the usual little ones.

We stopped for a quick snack at Peel Tower then went back down the hill in record time – we were all starving and we hadn’t thought ahead enough to bring a picnic!

Here’s a picture of some of the fruit before it was washed and sorted out.  We had over 3kg in the end, so it was no wonder we were struggling with the boxes!!

P1240403I decided on an apple and blackberry crumble to go with Sunday dinner.  Which was delicious – a great dessert to follow our traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding main course.  But it left me with a very large crop of blackberries, so it was time to get the thinking cap on and decide what to do with the rest.

As I hadn’t had a practice at my shortcrust pastry for a while I thought I’d risk it and have another go!  I didn’t really have enough whimberries for a large pie and my lack of a large pie plate somewhat limited what I was going to be able to make.  So it was time for some individual fruit pies.

I remembered my Mum teaching me the ‘half fat to flour’ rule for pastry, but I still got out my Delia book as an extra support for the pastry process.  The last time I tried pastry I made jam tarts and the pastry was too think, so I tried to roll it out much thinner this time.  The first batch of pastry managed to make a dozen pie cases and 10 lids!  I rather stuffed the whimberries into 10 cases.

So I had to make another batch of pastry to cope with at least some of the blackberries left waiting in the fridge!   They all looked good in the tins and I did remember to add some caster sugar to the top of the second batch of pies!

Unfortunately I learnt the hard way not to overfill the whimberry pies, as they all burst through the lids and stuck to the sides of the tins.  But they still tasted nice with some ice cream.  The blackberry pies though were lovely and I will have to make more in the future.

P1240404As we had rather a lot of pies, we took them round to a couple of the neighbours to share, a perfect excuse to pop round for a chat!

I’ve frozen a few small bags of the blackberries to use in crumbles later in the year, and I’ve shared some with Mum too.  Now I just have to decide what to do with the rest of them…..

Happy crafting