Blackberry and raspberry pie

blackberry and raspberry pie, dairy-free

Here’s the next instalment of my blackberry recipes and what could be a more autumnal combination that blackberries baked in a pie! I’ve always shied away from pies in the past, but in reality they’re super simple to make, just requiring a little time and patience, particularly if taking the easy option of using ready made pastry.

The combination of tart blackberries and mellow raspberries works really well, especially with the sugar topped pastry lid. Instead of rolling out a lid I made one from cut outs of heart shapes stuck together on top. The idea was the queen of hearts and one of her tarts but next time I’d use bigger hearts for a more obvious result.

Best enjoyed slightly warmed with dairy free custard or ice cream.

Blackberry and Raspberry Pie

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan blackberry pie

1 1/2 cups blackberries

1 cup raspberries

small handful of blackcurrants [optional]

1 tbsp cornflour

2 tbsps icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 pack (250g) shortcrust pastry

Dairy-free milk for brushing

1 tbsp caster sugar for sprinkling on the top

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  2. Line a pie tin with pastry, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes until golden and cooked through
  3. Meanwhile, combine the berries, cornflour, sugar and lemon juice. Tip into the baked pie base, then top with pastry shapes, or just a lid. Brush with dairy free milk and sprinkle over sugar.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes at until golden on top. Cool until just above room temperature before serving.

berry pie, egg-free

Blackberry Truffles

IMG_4639

Suddenly there are blackberries aplenty in the hedgerows – but you have to be quick before they’re snaffled by eager jam makers, or sadly wither on the bramble. A thousand miles better than any commercially available, tart, large, perfect blackberries. The small squishy shining black gems found in the wild are packed full of flavour, sweet and waiting to burst into a smear of purple black juice. The hedges near our house had a reasonable harvest, but not enough for any extravagantly filled pie, tart or jam…. so it was time for thinking caps on!

My lovely brother gave me some rather wonderful handmade chocolate from ‘Melt’ which was flavoured with blackberry and cinnamon. I was rather taken with the berry / chocolate combination, but found the cinnamon not to my taste. These are rolled in a mixture of icing sugar and purple edible sugar (not that you can notice the glitter!) as I’d run out of my first choice of cocoa powder. In the end I think they look rather pretty with the contrasting coating. Feel free to roll the truffle balls in anything you like, or nothing at all.

Blackberry Truffles (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_4640

makes about 16-20

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1-2 tbsp caster sugar (taste the blackberries to see how tart or sweet they are)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 100g dairy-free dark chocolate, such as Kinnerton
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup, maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp dairy-free milk
  • 2 tbsp sieved icing sugar
  • 1 tsp edible glitter (optional)

– Place the blackberries, sugar and water into a saucepan and cook down until all the berries have burst and made a jammy texture

IMG_4564
– Pass through a fine sieve to remove all the pips and pour back into the saucepan
– Reduce until the liquid has thickened and is only about 2 tbsps worth – this will give you a lovely intense blackberry flavour
– Set aside to cool
– Meanwhile, melt together the chocolate, syrup and milk until smooth and silky and no lumps remain
– Stir in the reduce blackberry syrup and leave in a cool place to harden. It has to be firm enough to roll into balls, but not so firm that it has reformed into a solid lump!
– Put the sieved icing sugar into a shallow bowl (mix in the glitter if you are using)
– With damp hands roll the truffle mix into cherry sized balls, then roll each one in the icing sugar
– These keep well for up to 1 week

IMG_4642

Blackberry Vinegar

It suddenly seems like Autumn, which means tons of blackberries in the hedges – I managed to get a small harvest from our neighbours’ bush that hangs over into our garden (shh!), but nowhere near enough to make a pie or jam. Luckily, 200g was the perfect amount to experiment with making blackberry vinegar. On my unpleasantly long commute last week I spent a lot of time listening to the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme (I seem to never switch off from food!) and one of the episodes dealt with vinegars. I’d love to taste really good Balsamic that has matured for 24 years and costs £3 per drop! Obviously I can’t be making Balsamic, but I thought I’d try a traditional English fruit-infused vinegar, after all Big S loves the tangy, vinegary taste, maybe it could make her love blackberries too.

Blackberry Vinegar (dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 1 small bottle

  • 200g freshly picked and washed blackberries
  • 200ml organic cider vinegar
  • 200g caster sugar

– Place the blackberries in a glass jar and squish with a wooden spoon.

– Pour over the vinegar and leave to steep for up to 3 days

– Slowly strain the vinegar/blackberry mix through a muslin bag (or a fresh kitchen cloth), repeat a couple of times.

– Pour into a saucepan and add the sugar.

– Heat to dissolve and then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly syrupy. Skim off any froth that forms on top.

– Pour into a sterilised bottle

– Enjoy on salads, puddings, veg dishes or 1tsp mixed with hot water to sooth a cold.

20120917-210355.jpg