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6th September 2017

Reaching just a little higher!

Driving around you can’t fail to notice the bumper crop of blackberries this year.  The number of them is certainly impressive and with a few days of good weather this week they will continue to ripen perfectly. Yesterday evening, armed with a few containers Rachel and I set off into the woods at the back of where we live to gather our crop.  It is strangely therapeutic, almost hypnotic!  We instantly relaxed and enjoyed the silence of the wood, just the odd bird song and screeching squirrel (another story for another day!).  We found ourselves immersed in bushes, not particularly noticing the scratches we were getting as we were determined to just reach that perfect one! Why are the biggest, juiciest ones just out of reach! 

Cherries for the tickled trout

This year we have been able to use so many of our British fruits on our menu. The sautéed vanilla strawberries with aerated pannacotta, raspberries with Cointreau and Prosecco have proved popular but this week it is the turn of the beautiful English cherry and of course our blackberries. The cherries are packed with flavour and have made a beautiful parfait which is accompanied by macerated cherries and chocolate honeycomb (which is great fun to make!) Macerating simply means to soften a fruit whether it is with sugar or alcohol - a technique which intensifies and brings out natural flavour, my cherries are just macerated in sugar and vanilla and then you let the fruit do its job. I couldn’t resist though adding a couple of cherries soaked in Kirsch.  Blackberries are a very versatile fruit and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes (pairs very nicely with venison when it is in season) Of course there is always a traditional crumble to make. I plan to keep it simple and make an Eaton mess with some amazing apples from Mrs. Mapp's orchard that will be poached in sweet cider.  However, if you fancy a great tipple try this recipe from the woodlands Trust: 

I’m not a whiskey drinker but I can highly recommend this! So this week why not venture out to pick a few – two tips though, make sure you are wearing something long sleeves and don’t forget to pop in to see us to try one of these amazing desserts!