Brambles, one of nature’s great Scottish freebees. Every year around this time my chefs come with me on a very dangerous mission – well, dangerous for them with me navigating the way! Bramble picking is certainly one of the most worthwhile forages but it’s certainly not pain free. The best ones lurk deep amongst the thorns where even the gutsy birds don’t tread; only a keen cook, crazed for the flavour will be victorious.
Once I have collected a great, big bowl of these lovely, deep-black treasures (and we have run out of plasters) what do we do? Well, as with anything else, I want to give them the respect they deserve and the best way I know how to this is to serve with warm, buttery almonds and the zing of lemon. Perfection.
If you are having a very lazy day and raspberries are more your thing then simply serve a bowl full topped with the lemon curd ice cream….Oh my!
1 jar of quality lemon curd
250g crème fraiche
420g natural yogurt
200g icing sugar – sifted
200g ground almonds
10g custard powder
100g lightly warm melted butter
100ml warmed milk
2 eggs lightly beaten
For the ice cream, simply whisk the ingredients together and churn in a ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, cornflour, almonds and custard powder. In another bowl whisk the melted butter, milk and eggs. Then whisk this mixture into the dry mix and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
In individual or a large heat proof dish layer the sponge mix and dot with the brambles. Gently submerge them (just a little – not fully). Bake until golden brown and cooked through to the centre. Top with a greedy dollop of ice cream and prepare to fall in love.