|Actual blackberries, picked in our garden
When we moved to Suffolk, I had rose-tinted dreams about creating a vegetable garden, toiling over the soil and eating bushels of home grown produce.
Beyond digging out a bit of a bed, and planting a blackcurrant bush, I haven’t got much further than dreaming.
However, I remain delighted with the few edible things that have persisted despite my neglect.
The little pear tree in the secret garden has manfully continued to produce some pears, even if they seem too heavy for its small trunk.
Unfortunately we went on holiday just when the damsons ripened, so we were greeted by a bare tree and a lot of windfalls on our return.
|Sad remains of the damsons
The big blowsy white rose has created enormous rose hips, and one weekend I hope to make jewel-like pink-hued rose hip jelly.
|…to rose hips in September
|From roses in June…
But I have managed to havest some of the blackberries that scramble over the fence from next door, and even atempted cooking clafoutis, as well as enjoying them with natural yogurt.
|Blackberries invading from next door
I used the quantities from Jack Monroe’s recipe for Jewelled Clafoutis in A Year in 120 Recipes, but using blackberries and plums rather than mandarins and rhubarb.
It made a pudding that was just enough for a couple of adults and a couple of children, without loads left over for me to eat when I really shouldn’t.
Couple of plums
20g butter, plus a little more to grease the dish
75ml double cream
3 tablespoons of sugar
Sprinkle of icing sugar for the top.
|Blackberry and plum clafoutis ready to go in the oven
Grease your baking dish with a bit of butter, and tip the blackberries and chopped plums into the bottom.
Heat the butter gently in a saucepan until it has melted, then remove it from the heat, pour in the milk and cream and stir to combine.
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the sugar, and whisk until pale and creamy. Whisk again after adding the flour, and then again after adding the cream and milk mixture from the saucepan.
Pour the batter over the fruit in the dish, and bake for roughly half an hour in an oven at 180 degrees C / gas mark 4.
Check it’s cooked by sticking a knife in the middle. Just like a cake, if it comes out clean, the clafoutis is done.
Sieve a little icing sugar over the top, and stand back to admire your creation, before your family scoffs the lot. Great served with extra cream.
|Finished calfoutis, in the brief interval between oven and consumption