The potential that a blackberry brings to the kitchen is endless; add a few to some gravy for a wonderful sweetness or, inevitably, use them alone or with other fruits for a marvellous array of puddings. Autumn also brings with it apples and pears and, preferring to eat my pears nice and ripe, I turned to perry to pair with my berries.
In order to use some locally made perry I had to get my Poirot on and try to find a supply. As luck would have it my butcher lives next door to a man who happens to make some using local pears. I returned to the old (and I think better) bartering system I managed to procure a bottle of fine perry in exchange for some rabbit ragu. Marvellous.
You will need:
Large handful blackberries
5 sheets gelatine
Heat the water and sugar together until boiled then switch off the heat. Stir regularly to make sure the sugar is properly dissolved. Put the gelatine into some cold water for a few minutes until softened. Squeeze the gelatine out and then add to the sugar mixture. Pour the perry in to the pan and stir until the gelatine is dissolved.
Give the blackberries a quick wash to make sure that there’s nothing going in to the jelly that shouldn’t be and then divide the berries between glasses, mugs, bowls or whatever you have. Pour over the jelly and then put in to the fridge to set. You could make this as a giant jelly of course but I thought the jellies looked quite quaint in little glasses.
There was a bit of a scary moment when testing the wobble; still a liquid or so set that it would bounce off the wall were the two extreme possibilities but happily it was exactly as set as I would have liked. I’d never used gelatine before and was really pleased with the results.
I have to admit that this is one of the nicest things I have ever made. The berries were a mixture of sweet and acidic and the perry added a wonderful flavour and slight boozy edge. The colour was wonderful; the berries hanging in the clear jelly like lumpy jewels. This was a fantastic way to welcome in the autumn.