So, yeah. I’m not really sure where summer went, but there has been lots of rain, so I guess that means there will be a nice harvest come fall. In between the rain showers, my better half and I have been doing some foraging for wild blackberries.
One might think that wild blackberries only grew in forested areas, or at least somewhere along country hedges. However, I’ve found several spots here in central Bristol (BS1!) with ripening plants. So this weekend, we were able to pick enough berries to make some healthy buns! If you are foraging for the first time, make sure you do some homework first. Always be aware that you are picking the right kind of fruit, know what the leaves are supposed to look like, and if there is ever any doubt, take a picture and consult your local garden center. Blackberries tend to grow in clusters, have a specific leaf shape, and have thorny branches. What we found here in the city center, is that they are often growing within other hedgy type plants as well.When picking blackberries, it is common to find the berries in different stages of ripeness, as seen above. You want to pick berries that are a very deep, dark purple. At this stage, they will be sweet and juicy. Any lighter purple or reddish, they will still be safe to eat, but can be very tart and sour.
As you can see above, we came home with a nice bowl of fresh, organic berries. Since they are wild, there are no pesticides, so if you decide to pick some they may not last as long as store bought berries. It is best to eat, cook, or bake them soonish, otherwise you can freeze them for later. With all the rain today, I was in a baking mood, so I decided to make wild blackberry linseed buns. They are made without any flour, so perfect for those wanting to avoid grain. You can easily make these dairy free by substituting coconut oil for the butter. Here is what I used to bake these treats:
- 3/4 cup ground, milled linseed (bought at Aldi for 1.99)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter, nearly melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup fresh wild blackberries
First grease your bun pans. I used coconut oil as it does great in high heat. Then preheat your oven to 350 F / 175 C. Next, mix together the dry ingredients (linseed, baking powder & salt).
Next, beat your eggs, and add the butter which should be nearly melted. Then add the honey and water, combining thoroughly.
Once mixed, add the liquid mixture to your dry ingredients. Combine well, then add the blackberries.
Next, add a large spoonful of the batter to each bun spot on your pan. In case you’re looking for these, here in the UK, you can find them in most home shops, and also at pound land. I have two pans; one from Robert Dyas and one from poundland and both work well just the same. In the states, I’ve seen them called muffin top pans.
When ready, pop these in your oven for 17 minutes. You can adjust your cooking time if necessary. Just make sure you do the clean toothpick test before taking them out. You may find you need a few more minutes, so depending on your oven, a full 20 minutes may be better.
And there you have it – wild blackberry linseed buns! Let these cool a bit before taking them out of the pan as they will be very soft to handle otherwise. If your berries aren’t too sweet and depending on your taste, you may find you need to add more honey to sweeten. However, if you pick your berries at a very ripe stage, they will add a bit of natural sweetness. You can also add blueberries, sultanas, or dates if that is what you have on hand. Also, if you don’t have linseed, then ground flax seed will work in the same way. These buns turned out buttery and sweet, without being cloying. They were great as a tea snack and will be a perfect addition to tomorrow’s breakfast.
Stay dry out there Bristol, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!