Searching for Wild Blackberries is a Fun Activity to do with the Kids and we have some Top Tips to make your adventure easier as well as a Yummy Recipe to make a Three Layer Blackberry Bar which is a family favourite.
Blackberries are a great source of fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin K and best of all as they are found for Free around our countryside we can enjoy picking, eating and even cooking with them to our hearts content. To make foraging for Blackberries a little easier Here Are Our Top Tips:
When is Blackberry Picking Season?
Depending on where you live in the UK and what the Weather has been like Blackberries are usually available to pick between July and October
Where Is the Best Place to Find Blackberries?
Blackberries are usually always found in hedgerows, growing amongst other bushes they are great climbers and have sharp thorns on the stems, which can even rip through tough jeans. Many People even have Blackberries growing in their back gardens.
How Do you Know Which Blackberries Are Ripe to Pick?
Blackberry fruits are green then red before they are ripe, then they turn Black, so you only want to pick the Black Ones. However, just because the Blackberry is coloured black doesn’t necessarily mean they are ripe. The easiest way to see if they are ripe is to pinch them, give them a slight twist and if they are ripe they will easily pop away from the stem, if they are not ripe they will stay attached.
What Should You Take with You to Pick Blackberries?
A plastic container with a lid to place the Blackberries in, is an essential. You might want to also take a stick or something with a hook on the end to help pull any Blackberries down from high up, but also handy to push away any Nettles. Be prepared for your fingers to turn purple after you pick a few so you might want to take some wet wipes with you for once you have finished.
How to Keep Safe While Picking Blackberries in the Wild
First off best not go hunting for Blackberries in shorts and open toed shoes as the Blackberries stems are full of thick sharp thorns that will easily rip through clothes, so best wear old clothes covering legs and arms and wearing sturdy shoes. You may find a lot of Stingy Nettles around Blackberries so keep your eyes open and push them away with sticks if you can. As a lot of these hedgerows are near roadsides you need to keep valiant of traffic, making sure its safe to pick there in the first place. In general, as your exploring just be careful of slipping or tripping over. Remember in West Wales we do have Adders here and although the likelihood of you bumping into one is slim, just be mindful of all wildlife as you pick your Blackberries.
Here is a Yummy Recipe to Make with your Blackberries
Once you have your haul of Blackberries, you may just want to wash them and eat them fresh in a fruit salad, or test your skills in making the traditional Blackberry Jam, however one of our family favourites to make with the Blackberries we find is the Three Layer Blackberry Bars and Here is the Recipe so you can try make your own: -
- 110g butter
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 75g desiccated coconut
- 125g digestive biscuit mashed into crumbs
- 60g chopped walnuts
- 75g butter at room temperature
- 4 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp custard powder
- 50g fresh blackberries
- 375g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 340g plain chocolate
- To make the Bottom Layer, you need to first off melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir in the sugar and cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract and then take off heat. Stir in the digestive biscuit crumbs, coconut and walnuts until mixed evenly. Press the mixture into a square baking tray, and refrigerate until cold, make sure no less than an hour.
- To make the Middle Layer put the butter into a mixing bowl then stir in the custard powder and milk and stir until creamy. Stir in the icing sugar a bit at a time, until the mixture is really smooth and no lumps. Slowly stir in the fresh blackberries. Spread this middle layer onto the chilled bottom layer of biscuit you have already made. Make sure you spread this layer on evenly and then chill it for least 30 minutes.
- To Make the Top Layer melt the chocolate with the 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Continually stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Take off the heat and pour over the other two layers making sure you completely covering them. Place back in the fridge and allow to set until firm for at least half an hour.
Top Tip for when you come to cut this into pieces, place the knife you are going to use in boiling hot water before cutting as it will make it easier to cut through then.