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One of the best summer holiday activities for families has to be blackberry picking!
Not only do you get to go on an adventure and burn off some energy, you also get free food! What’s not to love? This time of year is amazing if you’re trying to reduce the money spent on your food shop.
We went blackberry picking a few weeks ago, at the very start of the summer holidays. The berries weren’t as ripe as they are now, which only made our adventure more fun as we had to search further afield to find enough berries in order for us to cook our crumble.
That’s the other great thing about summer – you now have the perfect excuse to have pudding because all that fruit needs using up!
So, with the goal of finding enough blackberries to have an after dinner treat, we headed to Tilford in Surrey, a beautiful little village surround by woodland and fields.
Firstly, we decided to explore the hedgerows. We walked along the pavement side and then, when we got to the end of the hedge, we doubled back on ourselves by walking along the bridle path on the other side of the hedge.
We were able to get a few juicy blackberries from here and Luke enjoyed eating some straight from the bushes – something he’s never done before! As we walked, not only did we see all the blackberries, but we saw spiders, butterflies, horse shoe tracks and grasshoppers!
We walked all the way to the end of the bridle path collecting blackberries and then crossed over the road and headed to the other end of the village where the pedestrian foot bridge is. We often come here and it’s one of our favourite bridges to play Pooh Sticks on, but from here, you also have a breathtaking view of the river Wey in all it’s summer glory.
Check out the above picture taken by Luke’s grandpa on our walk! His Instagram account, djrobinson_photography, is full of beautiful shots like this and is definitely worth a little peek if you have a spare couple of minutes.
There were loads of blackberries here as I suppose there aren’t a lot of people in little villages like this that actually walk around and explore; everyone just jumps in their car and off they go. We had soon collected enough blackberries in the bushes here and Luke loved bossing us around and suggesting which berries we should go for. He also pointed out some massive spiders that I had failed to see!
We ended out blackberry picking spree with a walk through Tilford woods. However, it’s not in our family nature to be conventional so our little walk turned into a bit of a hike and we decided to go exploring, leaving the path behind us. As well as finding lots of exciting things, like animal tracks and lots of mushrooms, we also found ourselves climbing up “a mountain”. Luke’s not the most confident of climbers, but together we made up way up a very steep hill, grabbing onto trees as we climbed and Luke used his hands to crawl up whenever he got a bit stuck.
After all that exploring, we had definitely earned our pudding that night! When we got home, we put all the blackberries we had collected in a big mixing bowl and swilled them around in some water a few times. This allowed us to fish out all the nasty blackberries and all the little bugs that were chomping away at our fruit.
We drained them off in a colander and once we were satisfied that there were no more nasties, it was time to cook our apple and blackberry crumble. Here is the recipe that we always use; you can adjust the amount of sugar you wish to add in accordance with how sweet your fruit is. As ours still wasn’t as ripe as it could have been, I used enough sugar to compensate for the odd sour berry.
Apple And Blackberry Crumble Recipe
You can save this recipe for later and you can also print it out, if you would like to!
- FOR THE FILLING: 3 eating apples
- A generous amount of blackberries (300g ish)
- 100g of light muscovado sugar
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons butter
- FOR THE TOPPING: 200g porridge oats
- 100g light brown sugar
- 175g butter
- Preheat the oven to 180.
- Rub together the porridge oats, brown sugar and butter in a bowl until the mixture is similar to that of breadcrumbs.
- Peel, cut and core the apples. Then dice them up into small chunks.
- Put the butter and sugar into a large pan and mix together on a low heat until the mixture looks a bit like caramel.
- Add the apples to the butter and sugar mix and continue to cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes/until the apples start to soften.
- Pour the blackberries and the cinnamon into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
- But the fruit mixture into an oven proof dish and evenly spread the crumble topping over the fruit.
- Cook for 40 minutes, the sugar should be a lovely golden brown.
- Serve with custard or ice cream!