Ingredient of the week: blackberries

These beautiful black baubles are a forager's favourite - indeed, anyone with an afternoon going spare and a park nearby can head off with a tupperware box and collect a bounty.

And then home for pie or jam making - the apple and blackberry number topped with shortcrust being the classic and most celebrated - enough to rival any American apple pie - particular with a good lick of Jersey cream.

Tradition holds that they must not be picked after the 11th of October, Old Michaelmas Day, due to the devil doing his business of them and turning the flavour bitter. There is some truth in this - wet and cool weather often results in the fruit being infected with molds giving the fruit a strange look.

Pick the anti-oxidant British beauts in season - scoff them as you go with purple-stained fingers. Then take them home and turn them into a spectacular cheesecake, smashed through a mixture of mascarpone and double cream and layered onto a digestive biscuit base.

Click here to view our blackberry recipes
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