Though September is well and truly upon us, I have been quite fortunate to experience some late summer sunshine in the last few days at home. I am no Bear Grylls in the foraging department, but picking semi-wild fruits from countryside hedgerows made me embrace my natural gathering instincts somehow.
Mornings and evenings are certainly getting a little cooler, but it’s just another excuse to whip out my freshly dry-cleaned coats and jumpers. Autumn also screams great things on the menu – spiced anything, apples, pies, and general stodge. After acquiring kgs of blackberries the other day, I had a few ideas on how to utilise these perfectly wild fruits into various forms of stodge of the sweet variety.
With some of the blackberries, I made an autumnal pudding, inspired by this Michel Roux recipe. I would grade a firm 6/10 for my first attempt; the bread pieces were not soaked into the fruity juices long enough, leaving a rather anaemic pudding ‘crust’ when cut.
Another was a scotch pancake recipe using an amazing jack-of-all-trades type of sauce. I made an applesauce with the first of the Bramley apples on offer. A simple tart sauce for just about everything: to sweeten cakes, stirred into porridge for a quick breakfast fix, served with your nut roast (or pork, for our omnivorous pals), or used to thicken pancakes.
These pancakes are wonderfully seasonal: thick applesauce, ground cinnamon, and a blackberry-maple syrup to welcome September with arms wide open. These are made for lazy weekend brunches, to share with vegans and non-vegans alike.
A serving = 2 tbsp. Makes roughly 10 servings. Lasts for a week, stored in the refrigerator.
5 medium Bramley apples, cubed
5 tbsp water
Juice of 1 lemon
- In a saucepan, place the cube of apples and squeeze the juice of lemon all over.
- Add in the water, and cook under low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the fruit has softened, yet chunks of soft apple are still present.
- Serve immediately (if using as a sauce), or let it cool for storage in the fridge.
Apple and cinnamon scotch pancakes with a blackberry-maple syrup
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups dairy-free milk (I used hemp milk)
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/s tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp applesauce
½ cup fresh blackberries
1 tsp maple syrup
6 tbsp water
Coconut oil, for cooking
- For the syrup: mix the blackberries, maple syrup and 4 tbsp of the water in a saucepan.
- Cook under medium heat until the some of the fruit has dissolved, and the sauce has thickened a little.
- Once thickened, remove from heat. Stir in 2 tbsp of water, and leave to cool.
- For the pancakes: Add the flour, baking powder, and ground cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix.
- Add the applesauce. Stir in the dairy-free milk in ½ cup batches at a time, and mix carefully until well-combined.
- In a ceramic pan, grease using a little coconut oil. Wipe the pan with kitchen towel to absorb excess grease.
- For 5 cm diameter pancakes, pour in half a ladel of the pancake mixture into the hot pan.
- Cook each side for 2-3 minutes under low-medium heat. Flip when air bubbles have formed on top and sides have started cooking a little.
- Serve with the blackberry-maple syrup on top. Decorate with fresh blackberries, if desired.