Saturday, 6 September 2014

Foraged Blackberry & Apple Oatie Crumble Slice

Foraging for blackberries is one of Autumn's delights. Pick an afternoon with the gradually fading warmth of the end of summer sun, grab a couple of tubs, pull the kids out of the door and head for the hedgerow.

You can guarantee that everyone will have a fantastic time........ The anticipation and excitement as the blackberries are spotted......... the caution and care as they are picked, making sure they aren't squashed and squeezed............. the sneakiness of popping an occasional berry 'accidentally' in your mouth on its way to the tub.......... and best of all, the thrill of going home with a mountain of free fruit and being able to plan how to use it.

It seems that brambles grow wild just everywhere these days and we only needed to walk about 50 yards down the road before we came across our first blackberry-laden bush. A couple of hours later and a leisurely walk round the local playing field (with lots of running around and cartwheels along the way..... my daughter that is....not me!) and we had a couple of kilos of juicy purple fruit. Heading home..... our battle-scratched arms and legs proudly on show........

Our foraged blackberries have been used in a few recipes (more to follow shortly.....) and none of them have been wasted! This recipe adds a wind-fallen apple from next door's overhanging tree, and is full of the flavours and textures of Autumn.

The biscuit base and crumbly top are deliciously oatie with added nutty depth from the almonds and sweet caramel overtones from the white chocolate. Sandwiched in-between is a thick fruity layer of cinnamon spiced blackberry-apple compote......... perfect for those cooling days and delicious served with custard or ice cream.

I am offering my foraged blackberry and apple oatie crumble slice to several September foodie challenges :

Treat Petite hosted by Stuart at Cakeyboi (with Kat at The Baking Explorer) who for this month are saying 'anything goes'.

Simple & In Season - this month being guest-hosted by Franglais Kitchen on behalf of Ren Behan. The blackberries and apples used here are so in season, they were picked straight from the bushes and trees and cost nothing..... Yay! Free food!!

Vegetable Palette brought to us by Shaheen at Allotment2Kitchen. September calls for dishes full of 'purple and blue' fruit and veg......... I love the colour the blackberries bring to this crumble slice..... rich and inviting.

And finally Shop Local, with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Ok........ so I didn't do much shopping at all, but the fruity stars of this show are as local as they come.

Blackberry & Apple Oatie Crumble Slice


1 large cooking apple - peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
430g blackberries
75g golden caster sugar (or more to taste)
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
350g gluten free flour mix (I used blend A from this post)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
225g unsalted butter - cold and cubed
350g soft brown sugar
175g GF oats
50g toasted flaked almonds
100g white chocolate chunks
1 large egg 
1 tablespoon almond (or cows) milk


  1. Put the cubed apple, blackberries, caster sugar and cinnamon into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer until the fruit is soft and broken down and the liquid has reduced.
  3. Add the arrowroot-water mix and continue to stir until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Prepare a 9 inch square loose-bottomed, non-stick baking tin, by lightly greasing with butter.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4
  6. Weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum and baking powder in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are broken down.
  7. Rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  8. Add the brown sugar, oats and almonds and stir thoroughly.
  9. Remove about a quarter quantity of the mix to a separate bowl, mix the chocolate chunks into the smaller portion and set aside.
  10. Add the egg and milk to the three-quarter portion and mix with a wooden/silicone spoon until completely blended and beginning to form clumps.
  11. Put this mixture into the baking tin and press down with the back of a spoon to make a biscuit base which is smooth and even.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  13. Spoon the blackberry-apple compote onto the biscuit base and spread into a thick even layer.
  14. Top this with the remaining crumble-white chocolate mix and bake for a further 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
  15. Serve hot, warm or cold. Delicious with cream, custard or ice-cream. 
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  1. What a fabulous looking bake. Stunning colour to the berries. I agree there is something special about being able to forage for fruit. My parents used to have wild blackberry and plum trees near where we lived when I was growing up and I have many happy memories picking fruit in the autumn.
    These look so delicious

    1. Thanks Katie. Picking autumn fruit is such fun. I often go to the local orchards when the commercial picking has been done too and scrum the left-over apples and pears!

  2. These do look fantastic. I have some very local blackberries from my garden in the freezer at the moment and I'd love to make something like this with them.

    1. You should Corina. It's such a lovely way to eat them (and a bit different form the usual crumble or pie)!

  3. What gorgeous photos - they look like they could be from a cookbook!

  4. Oh just today I was tasting the first blackberries whilst walking in the countryside. There are so many in the UK! I think I will go foraging soon and make something with them. I really like this crumble! Looks so delicious with that gorgeous bright colour. Your photography is really good too!

    1. Thank you Alida. I can't believe the fruity bounty out there at the moment. It is definitely a great year for growing! Go grab some before the birds get it!

  5. Oh I could do with taking a slice of this with me today as I get ready to go into work, yum -cake of sorts for breakfast. I have yet to forage for blackberries. I make a raspberry oatie bars quite a lot when I lived in Scotland, you have reminded me of them once again. Thank you for sharing with vegetable palette.

    1. You're welcome Shaheen. I've made something similar with raspberries too. You can use all sorts of fruit and putting them into a slice makes a sort of 'carry about crumble'..... perfect for those lunch (or breakfast) boxes!

    2. Kate, the round up will be up tonight - so sorry about the delay. Hope you will participate this month too.

  6. We have been on similar missions recently! I wouldn't have thought of putting white chocolate in. Don't tell my daughter on what she has missed out on!

    1. Haven't we?! It always makes me smile when I see someone else has had the same inspiration! The white chocolate definitely adds an extra decadence, but I promise not to 'tell'......

  7. Thanks for taking the time to enter - a petite treat indeed!

    1. You're welcome...... My pleasure..... I got to eat them!

  8. How did I miss these when you first published them?! They look wonderful - the colours are so bright and pretty. I love your photos too on the dark background.

    1. Thanks Laura.... I admit I was a bit worried about the photos, as the light wasn't great.... but they turned out ok!

  9. What a stunning recipe and photographs! I grew up on wild foraged fruit (it was the only fruit I ever had, to be honest, mother was not a fruit and vegetable person!). Loved the stuff :) Thank you for sharing with Shop Local and apologies to taking so long to pop by to comment. Round up will be posted soon!

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth. And thanks for sharing onward! We are all so busy...... Thanks for hosting!


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