How to make ‘Simon’s Surprise’

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Blackberries

As the hedge rows are full of particularly beautiful food at the moment, I thought I would share one of my favourite recipes with you, which uses up cooking apples and brambles (blackberries for all you southerners!). 

It’s a bit of a combination of some of Delia’s recipes and my own and it not only tastes great (at least my son thinks so - see pics) but for those of you trying to stay off wheat, it makes a perfect ‘pie’.

Blackberries and apples

Simon's Surprise

To serve about 4 people

1. Pick 8oz (225g) of brambles and wash them.

2. Take one large cooking apple (peeled and cored) and place it in a saucepan with 1/2 tablespoon of water and about 3oz (75g) of brown sugar (adjust at final stages of cooking if you like it sweeter). 

Blackberries, apples and sugar in a pan

3. Put the lid on and stew/steam for a few minutes, before adding the brambles. 

Continue to gently stew for about two or three minutes until you have lovely red sauce and the apples are just beginning to turn soft. 

4.
Place in an oven-proof dish and allow to cool a little. As it's cooling, cream 4oz (110g) of softened butter with the same quantity of caster sugar (brown if possible) until pale and fluffy. 

Stewed blackberries and apples

5.

Then beat two large eggs into the mixture gradually. When complete, fold in 4oz (110g) of ground almonds.

6
. Spread this mixture over the top of the cooled fruit and bake in an oven at Gas Mark 4 or 180°C for an hour (check it towards the end as it burns easily, as you can see from my pics… oops!). 

Blackberry and apple pie before baking

Simon's son amazed by the blackberry and apple pie

Serve hot (or cold) with custard, cream or ice cream.

I made the same but with plums instead of brambles last night and it was lovely but needed a bit more sugar.

I’m making bramble jelly with my son this week so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Simon X

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