There is still something very satisfying about blackberrying, although I usually find someone has been there first, plucking off the best ones at the lowest levels! Don’t be thwarted – take a walking stick and summon down the upper branches; take some gloves, too, or your hands will be very scratched, and a basket if you’re really up for it, or a polythene box if you’re not quite so determined!
Either way, wild brambles or blackberries have a character and flavour that the cultivated ones have never captured.
It’s tricky, though, because if we have a wet summer they will be plump, fleshy and juicy; if we have a dry summer they will be very small and seedy. So, given the vagaries of wild blackberries, the cultivated kind is better than none.
Blackberries are absolutely brilliant mixed with apples in a one-crust pie, or why not try them instead of apple in a crumble.
This is not a jelly that will keep for long – perhaps only a month – but if you've been for a long walk in the autumn and returned with a harvest of brambles from the hedgerows, this recipe is so easy and quick to make and it does taste delicious.
This traditional pudding will go down a treat after a roast lunch on Sunday - serve it with plenty of cream for the finishing touch.
Maybe the speediest dessert ever, this luscious tart combines hedgerow berries and Bramley apples in a classic pairing that will have you asking for second helpings!