Dear Mr Toad

I think we would all like to come and watch you trying to pick blackberries from the river bank, however, as you seen unwilling and already have some brambling freely in your garden I might let you off. If you do try the picking from the waterside, make sure there is someone there to take a video, it would be good viewing.

Anyway, tarts. I have experimented and come up with a couple I think you should try, I won't say like as there is bound to be something that tickles your fussy bone.

Firstly, the most important ingredient is the blackberry. If you get chance, look into the myths and legands of  them, its quite interesting.

You need to pick them on the day you are going to use them as they don't keep terribly well, you might get them to last a bit longer in the fridge. They have a tendancy to either go mouldy or ferment if left too long, the latter might be interesting in another context.

Next both recipes use another lovely British ingredient, Bramley cooking apples.

Pastry. You have already managed a short crust pastry a couple of times, so this should be a breeze! I am not going to write the instructions out for the pastry making, you will find it under the mince pie recipes right back at the beginning of the blog. One of the recipes requires puff pastry, buy the ready made just rol block, your life is too busy to make your own, it takes an age, and requires lots of concentration.

Both reipes require the oven to be at gas mark 5, so you can make both at the same time. How's your multi-tasking?

Lets start with the short crust pastry tart; its an open top tart, bit of a soggy bottom, but otherwise lovely.

Open top Blackberry and Apple Tarts


1 quanity of short crust pastry made with 8oz/200g plain flour (Or you could cheat and buy a pack)

A handful of blackberries (Depends how big your hands are, ut my handful was about 25 I think)

1 cooking apple (You could use a dessert apple if you need a sweeter pud)

1 dessert spoon of brown sugar (White would be fine, but brown gives it more of a toffee taste)

1 egg, beaten for egg wash


Oven on to gas5

Make your pastry and chill (Pastry not you!)

Prepare your blackberries by popping them into a bowl and covering them in water, leave for 5-10 minutes. This will wash off any dust, blossom etc and also check for bugs.

Drain gently.

Roll out your pastry until its about as thick as a pound coin. Place a dinner plate upside down on it, and use this as a template to cut out a circle.

Peel, ore and thinly slice your apple.

Pop the pastry onto a baking sheet. Top with the sliced apple, just in the middle, leave about 3 inches clear from the outside edge. Add blackberries.

Pull up the sides of the pastry, pinching the edges as you go. But don't cover the top, leave a wide opening.

Sprinkle your sugar onto the fruit through the opening.

Egg wash the sides all over

Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes

Next tart... Very pleased with these, looked fab, smelled fanastic, and were excellent cold the next day too

Blackberry, Apple and Custard slices


I block of ready to roll puff pastry (block goes further than ready rolled for some reason)

1 handfull blackberries

1 cooking apple (although I only used half, tasting it I should have used a whole one)

Half pint of thick custard

1 egg beaten for egg wash

2 dessert spoons of white granulated sugar - appox


Wash blackberries as per previuos recipe

Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface. (I guess mine must have been a rectangle about 30cmx 45cm)

Cut it into quarters

Cut each quarter into half

Place four out of the eight pieces onto a baking tray.

Peel, core and thinly slice your cooking apple and place like this on 4 puff pastry pieces. Add blackberries. Remember to leave a 1-1.5 cm margin around the outer edge.

Put a tablespoon of custard on each one

Egg wash the margin

The four other puff pastry rectangles are going to be lids, so you need to place them on top. As you do each one, stretch it slightly with your hands as it has to go over the fruit too. Match up the eddges and press firmly so the fruit filling is sealed in. I used a fork to kind of crmp the edges.

Egg wash the tops. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut four slits in the top.

Pop into the oven for about 20-25 minutes

These are very very hot in the middle, so try not to eat them too quickly :)

Hope you enjoy these

Happy munching

Yours, berry excited,


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing a delicious dish. Is there any option for takeaway delivery?