I never fail to feel excited by the first glimpse of a hedgerow packed with shiny, juicy, plump blackberries. Not only are they free and extremely good for you (Blackberries are a great source of immune strengthening vitamin C, vitamin E - which is beneficial for the heart and circulatory problems and soluble fibre which helps to reduce cholesterol and maintain a healthy digestive system) but some of my best memories as a child were late summer, balmy afternoons spent with my mother ambling through the countryside picking bags full of these autumn jewels from the hedgerows then returning home to help make a whole array of summer puddings, crumbles, pies, smoothies, ice-creams, jams and jellies.
This recipe is a Scottish version of a summer pudding and it's one that I love serving to my children as it tastes wickedly delicious and yet it's packed full of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E, immune strengthening anti-oxidants, calcium, protein, essential fatty acids and iron. It's also a really good desert for filling hungry tummies - something your little ones are guaranteed to have after all that foraging!!
750g/1 ¬Ω lb blackberries (you can use other soft fruits here too such as raspberries, loganberries, strawberries or blueberries)
600ml/1 pint double cream (organic if possible)
2 tablespoon of runny honey
115g/4oz course oatmeal, toasted in the oven until crisp
115g/4oz mixed chopped nuts, toasted
115g/4oz dark, high cocoa content chocolate, grated
Place the fruit in a sieve and wash thoroughly then divide the fruit amongst six glasses (wine glasses are good for adults but can be tricky to eat out of for children so an ordinary tumble will be fine).
Drizzle a little runny honey over the fruit in each glass. Whip the cream then stir in another tablespoon of runny honey.
Mix together the oatmeal, nuts and grated chocolate and sprinkle a layer of the mixture over the fruit. Add another layer of cream, then the oatmeal mixture again, then more cream and a final sprinkling of the oatmeal mixture on top. Serve immediately.
Variation: For an adult version of this desert stir in 4 tablespoons of whisky to the cream.