When I first moved over here to the UK, Blueberries were a very rare commodity, especially up in the North where we were living then.
I never, and I mean never, saw them in the shops, not ever.
Oh, how I longed for them. Something that I had come to quite take for granted, having been surrounded, and abundantly, by wild ones for most of my life.
In fact, as a child, I had come to despise them a bit . . . not the flavour, but the idea of them.
Every summer in late August, my parents always put us
It didn't. We still spent hours and hours of back breaking labour in the hot summer sun, filling up gallon sized ice cream buckets for my mother to put into the freezer for the winter ahead.
Finally, I just gave up and caved into my love of them, and it's been a passion that's been going ever since.
Oh how I missed them over here, that is, until we moved South, and I discovered shops full of them. They are cultivated, of course, and not quite as lovely as the little wild ones from back home, but they'll do quite nicely.
One thing I have learned by being over here, and having been cut off from certain things, is that you never know what you'll crave when you can't get it any more . . .
Like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Captain Crunch Cereal, Cheese Whiz, All Beef Hot Dogs, Candy Cane Crackle Ice Cream, Bologna Sandwiches, and . . .
*Bramley Berry Slump*
Serves 6 to 8
This is so lovely with the sweet blueberries and the tart apples. The hidden surprise of creamy mascarpone cheese really makes it special, as does the crunchy biscuit topping!
2 large Bramley apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups sliced apple)
1 knob of butter
2 small punnets of blueberries (about 2 cups)
3 ounces sugar
8 ounces of mascarpone cheese
For the topping:
3 ounces cold butter, cut into bits
8 ounces self raising flour
2 ounces sugar
the zest of one lemon
150ml of whole milk
2 TBS Demerara sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Butter a 1 1/2 litre baking dish. Set aside.
Melt the knob of butter in a nonstick skillet. Add the apples and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften. Add the sugar to the apples along with the blueberries. Mix well, and then tip the whole mixture into the prepared baking dish. Dot with the mascarpone cheese.
Rub the butter into the flour until it is quite crumbly. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together until quite fragrant. Stir into the crumb mixture. Add the milk all at once and stir to combine. Drop on top of the fruit and mascarpone in big blogs, making it look a bit craggy. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over all. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30- minutes, until crusty and golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before spooning into dessert dishes. Serve warm with custard* or vanilla ice cream* if desired.
*Really you won't need it with the mascarpone cheese, that is unless you are feeling totally hedonistic!