Sunday, 5 October 2014

Blackberries and scrumped apples....

So, about those blackberries.

They seem to be nice and juicy this year, the result of the perfect summer I expect. Yes, I know that there are those of you that think this summer hasn’t been that great, but I shall remember it as one of my sunnier ones. Anyway, we gathered our blackberries on the lane down to the far right beach at Abersoch. There were plenty and the deep purple juice stained my fingers red.

As a child blackberry season was a treat and we’d collect loads, although I have no recollection of what my mother made with them. We just gathered just enough to make a couple of crumbles. In years gone by this time of year was so important. It was the jam making, preserving, pickling season and kitchens would be full of jellies, vinegar, and Kilner jars. Of course it still happens, but less so and those that do it are usually doing for pleasure rather than necessity.

We took our blackberries to the cottage and I scrumped some apples from a neighbours tree so that we could make blackberry and apple crumble. I remember the scrumping raids as a boy, climbing walls and rushing to the tree to snatch a pullover-full of apples. My hand-knitted jumpers we always baggy at the front, what with the carrying of apples, pears, or conkers in my makeshift woollen basket. I was always in trouble about it – along with everything else.

Anyway, we stewed our hedge blackberries and scrumped apples with sugar, put them into a couple of dishes, and froze them. Keeping our crumble fruit for the long winter nights when a taste of late summer will be like a ray of stolen sunshine.


  1. Maggie Patzuk on FB
    Looks wonderful. Would you post your recipe?

  2. Sharon Taylor on FB
    I love blackberry and apple crumble, it reminds me of Grandad who had his own blackberry bushes and cooking apple tree, along with eating apples, that in my mind are the most wonderful apples ever. But woe betide you if you picked one off the tree if there were windfalls on the ground to eat first! I always remember the time that Aunty Phil came over for the day when he had burnt his leg very badly and she went off to pick the blackberries, Grandad commented that they would be in shock when the ' big blackbird' came along to pick off the best fruit. He was a quiet man, but when he did talk it was always funny or something important xxxx

  3. Andrew Height on FB
    Yes Maggie. Some blackberries, some apples, sugar and some water (I use cider though). Boil then simmer until the rest of the cider is drunk then open some more cider and switch the cooker off. Keep on drinking cider and in the morning place in trays and bung in the freezer until it's crumble time. The crumble recipe also requires cider

  4. Andrew Height
    I remember that tree (were there two?) and his brambles at the top end of his garden. I wish I'd known him as well as you Sharon.