Whilst my dad enjoyed tucking into homemade raspberry and blackberry pavlova sitting in the garden yesterday, the rest of us decided to simply nibble at the fresh raspberries and blackberries, which we had been picking from the kitchen garden, needing nothing more than their simple selves to satiate our sweet tooth.
It seems the blackberries in particular are so flavoursome this year, so I suspect that many a free moment will be spent over the next week picking them before the birds demolish our supplies. If we have a surplus, they're so easy and successful to freeze for later in the season to use in pies and puddings.
Blackberries, like most fresh berries, are rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. But one thing to bear in mind is the fact that the vitamin C diminishes when you cook them.
They are delicious in either a classic apple and blackberry crumble or as a compote made by simply poaching in a dash of fresh orange juice and a touch of the orange rind to bring out the flavour even more. Cooking the berries this way just means that the final vitamin C hit isn’t as strong as you get from eating them freshly picked.
On the other hand, if your stomach is feeling a bit sensitive, cooking the blackberries with some apple often makes them feel more digestible, so it depends on how your body’s feeling.
For me, at this time of the year when they’re at their best, I just love them raw and by looking at the colour of the children’s tongues in the village, I’m not the only one!