September 29th is a day in the Western Christian Calendar which celebrates the feast of St Michael the Archangel . . . you know who he is don't you? Why he is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence.
He also smells like cookies . . . dances really well, and is umm . . . very sexy, well . . . at least to me anyways . . . I think it's the chin dimple. I have a thing for chin dimples.
In many areas it has been traditionally said that September 29th is your last chance to pick blackberries before the Devil can curse them, spit on them, or do something even worse!
The indigestible October crop of blackberries is spurned altogether and Michaelmas Dumplings make one final glorious feast of the plump purple beauties!!
No surprise that they are teamed with apple here, as apples and blackberries are a beautiful marriage of choice!
Here you get a lovely tart piece of apple that is wrapped in the heavenly fluff of a buttery dumpling and then simmered on a bed of sweet ripe blackberries . . .
Served warm, with lashings of cream or custard, or ice cream if you prefer, each spoonful is gorgeously delicious . . . the apple having melted into that fluffy dumpling interior and the blackberries forming a sweet purple sauce . . .
Oh my . . . this is one tradition that I quite happily uphold!
Fluffy apple filled dumplings floating on a sea of thick purple blackberry goodness!
8 ounces of blackberries (half a pound)
1 medium sized apple, peeled, quartered and cored
healthy pinch of salt
100g of self raising flour (a generous cup)
25g of butter (1/8th cup)
300ml of water (1 1/4 cups)
Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl. Drop in the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Stir in about 4 TBS of milk and mix together to a soft dough. Divide the dough into four and press each quarter into a flat circle on a floured board. Mould the circle of dough around a piece of apple, bringing it up the sides and over the top to cover it completely and sealing it totally shut. Repeat four times. Place the water in a medium sized pan. Add a heaped dessertspoon of sugar. Stir to dissolve and then bring to the boil. Add the blackberries, place the dumplings on top, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, until the dumplings are nicely risen and fluffy. Serve warm with lashings of cream, custard or ice cream!