Tag Archives: Blackberries

Blackberry Focaccia Bread and Butter Pudding.

Blackberry Focaccia Bread and Butter Pudding served with cream © Sue Todd 2014

Blackberry Focaccia Bread and Butter Pudding served with cream © Sue Todd 2014

What can I say?  It had to happen.  There was left over blackberry focaccia which it would have been criminal to waste and I had the ‘4 o’clock’ munchies coming over me, so I persuaded Gary to make me some bread and butter pudding with the left overs.  I’ve actually just polished off the final bit of that for breakfast!
Servings: ? That will depend on how much left over blackberry focaccia you have and how much of a portion you manage to limit yourself too.  I think we got about 8 servings from ours, though I may have had rather more of those 8 servings than anyone else!

Ingredients:

  • Left over blackberry focaccia,
  • unsalted butter,
  • 2 eggs,
  • milk
  • castor sugar (or better still vanilla sugar)

Method:

Slice the left over blackberry focaccia and butter generously, ideally with unsalted butter.
Lay in a flat, well buttered square dish overlapping each slice, butter side up.
Mix together two eggs and a good splash of milk.  Add a small handful of Vanilla sugar
or caster sugar and a splash of Vanilla Extract to the milk and eggs, whisking it together well.
Pour over the top of the blackberry focaccia and place in the baking oven of the Aga until its golden and yummy,  about 30-40 mins. Serve warm with cream.
Blackberry Focaccia Bread and Butter Pudding © Sue Todd 2014

Blackberry Focaccia Bread and Butter Pudding © Sue Todd 2014

Blackberry Focaccia

Blackberry Focaccia © Sue Todd 2014

Blackberry Focaccia © Sue Todd 2014

Having finally gotten some sort of harvest in an abundance of blackberries (thanks to the assorted wildlife who’ve eaten our garden), I wanted to do more than just the same old fruit crumble, not that there is anything wrong with fruit crumble.  So it was off to the web and off to my collection of cookery books and magazines.  Gary bought me Nigel Slater’s Tender volumes 1 and 11 for Christmas a couple of years back and it was there I found Nigel’s recipe for Blackberry Focaccia.  What a revelation!  Having said that I ought to have paid more attention to the number of servings – it serves 8 and there’s just the two of us! Whoops.   I’d like to add though that not a morsel was wasted.

Nigel thinks it is more suitable for tea than dessert, but we had some for dessert and it was delightful, and although he says it should be eaten while warm and doesn’t keep, we had some with coffee next day and it was still lovely.  I think it would be fabulous picnic food too.  We used what was left to make a bread and butter pudding – and that was delicious.

Ingredients – for the dough:

  • 450g strong white flour,
  • 7g dried yeast (or 14g fresh yeast),
  • 1tsp of sea salt,
  • 1tbsp of caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
  • 350ml warm water

Ingredients – for the topping:

  • 250g blackberries
  • 2tbsps olive oil
  • 2tbsps caster sugar (again I used vanilla sugar)
  • icing sugar for dusting

Method:

I always use my Kitchen Aid for bread making these days, it merrily kneads while I clear up and since I use the bowl to raise the bread, the only extra washing up is the dough hook.  It’s a ‘win-win’ kind of thing.  Simply put the salt, flour and yeast into the bowl, add the sugar and then as you start to mix it up add the water slowly.  You can either use a food mixer or combine the ingredients with a spoon before turning it out on a floured surface to knead lightly for about five minutes.  I just left the Kitchen Aid to get on with the kneading while I put stuff away.

Once done, it needs to go into an oiled bowl (Nigel says floured, but I always use a bit of olive oil or butter round the bowl) to rise.  I simply grab the dough in one hand from the mixing bowl, slosh a bit of oil into the bowl with the other hand and pop the dough back in, covering with a clean cloth and put it in a warm place to rise.  It should take about an hour, but it will depend on the temperature really.  I popped mine on the AGA and it didn’t take that long.

Once it has doubled in size its time to knock it back.  You then need to combine half of the blackberries into the dough.  This wasn’t as messy or as tricky as I’d envisaged.  Nigel recommends a shallow tray, but I always use an AGA cold tray for bread so that’s where it went. Now scatter the rest of the blackberries over the top of the dough and press them in gently.  Cover the dough and leave to rise for the second time.

Nigel states you need an oven temperature of 220C or Gas 7 if you have a conventional cooker, and you’ll want to preheat it.  I use the baking oven in the AGA.

Once your loaf has doubled in size again, its time to drizzle the olive oil over the top and then scatter your castor sugar before it goes in the oven.  Mine took a bit longer than the 45 minutes, but I did have to add a cold shelf above it to prevent it burning and give it time to cook to the centre.  Next time I think I’ll either make half the quantity as there’s just the two of us or if I’m making the full amount I’d cut the dough into two separate loaves after the first rising to make sure it cooks evenly.

Blackberry Focaccia fresh from the oven © Sue Todd 2014

Blackberry Focaccia fresh from the oven © Sue Todd 2014

It should be golden brown, crisp but still springy to touch when its done.  Let it cool before dusting with the icing sugar and then its ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Porridge with grated apple, blackberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Porridge with grated apple and blackberries © Sue Todd 2014

Porridge with grated apple and blackberries © Sue Todd 2014

Breakfast time today and another decision needed.  No compote left, still no bread made, no bacon, no sausages…. oh dear!  However with a garden full of apples and blackberries we didn’t dally long on decisions.

Porridge again but today with grated apple (picked straight from the tree and grated directly) and blackberries fresh from the bush, and a good drizzle of maple syrup to boot.  This was lovely.  I still prefer the porridge with blackberry compote but … this is a close run second.  You could get the recipe from the link, but here it is again to save you having to click, with the amends for this version.

Ingredients:

  • 160g oats
  • 600ml milk, (semi-skimmed, full fat, gold top, soya, whatever takes your fancy here really)
  • pinch of salt,
  • Couple of apples grated
  • Few handfuls of blackberries
  • Maple syrup to taste

Method:

Put the oats, milk and a pinch of salt into a saucepan on a gentle to medium heat and stir.

Bring the pan up to simmering point and simmer until its smooth and creamy – round about 5 minutes should do it nicely.

Remove from the heat, dish up into bowls, add the grated apple and scatter with blackberries before drizzling with maple syrup.

 

 

Porridge with blackberry compote

Breakfast of porridge and blackberry compote © Sue Todd 2014

Breakfast of porridge and blackberry compote © Sue Todd 2014

On Tuesday morning this week, after a glorious late summer day on the Monday we woke to fog and grey skies and there was a real autumn chill in the air.  When the ‘what shall we have for breakfast today’ discussion began as it does most mornings, there was the realisation that variations on breakfast was somewhat limited because I’d not gotten round to baking bread, we’d finished off all the bacon and sausages and we had two eggs.

It was then I remembered we had left over blackberry compote, from our pancakes at the weekend in the fridge and I thought about porridge.  That was breakfast sorted.  I have to say the pair are a marriage made in heaven and this is now my new favourite go to breakfast for the autumn. Indeed I’d best go foraging to ensure we have enough blackberries to get us through the winter.

Ingredients:

  • 160g oats
  • 600ml milk, (semi-skimmed, full fat, gold top, soya, whatever takes your fancy here really)
  • pinch of salt,
  • Blackberry compote
  • Cream or milk to taste (optional)

Method:

Put the oats, milk and a pinch of salt into a saucepan on a gentle to medium heat and stir.

Bring the pan up to simmering point and simmer until its smooth and creamy – round about 5 minutes should do it nicely.

Remove from the heat, dish up into bowls and add the blackberry compote.  A drizzle of cream or milk around the compote just adds a lovely finishing touch.

Porridge with blackberry compote © Sue Todd 2014

Porridge with blackberry compote © Sue Todd 2014

Variations on the Porridge theme:

I haven’t tried this yet, but I can’t help thinking that coconut milk or almond milk would be delicious in porridge, if you’ve tried it let me know what you think.

Banana and almonds

Mash a banana and add to the porridge with a tbsp of ground almonds and mix in – another lovely winter warmer.