Foraging for Sunday Treats
During our customary Sunday stroll through the countryside we happened upon a treasure trove of blackberries! Blackberry season is the silver-lining of summers end and this glorious British berry can be found on hedge groves right up until October. Anyone can pick FREE blackberries and other such edible delights along public footpaths (unless otherwise stated), so get out and start foraging! But make sure you know what you’re looking for. Blackberries are quite unmistakable but other roadside treats such as mushrooms and sloes can be a little harder to distinguish from the inedible kinds. It’s also important to make sure you’re foraging sustainably, to avoid damaging the delicate ecosystems of the British countryside. However, it’s a matter of common sense; don’t pick everything there is and leave plenty for others as well as wildlife to enjoy.
Just some of the fungi we encountered in Macclesfield forest
The superfood that is Blackberries
Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, namely anthocyanins. Anthocyanins belong to a family of plant metabolites known as flavonoids which are responsible for the distinctive red, purple, blue or black colour of certain fruits and veggies, such as blackberries. Anthocyanins, as well as many other flavonoids, are known for their potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties. Blackberries are also a surprisingly good source of vitamin C (53% of your recommended daily intake per 100g serving).
Now of course you can enjoy these berries as they are (although I’d always recommend soaking them in salt water to get rid of any unwanted creepy crawlies first), make some classic blackberry jam or even a crumble, but we decided to be a little more creative and make this blackberry and lime cheesecake. This is definitely a decadent treat but that’s what Sunday’s are about, right?
Prep: 45 mins
Nutrition per serving
For the base
200g digestive biscuits
200g ginger nut biscuits
110g melted butter
For the filling
400g cream cheese
6tbsp caster sugar
300mL double cream
Juice of 2 limes plus the zest
For the blackberry topping
3 cups of blackberries
3tbsp caster sugar
You’ll also need a 23cm/9inch spring form, loose base tin
1.Place your biscuits in a plastic bag cover with a tea-towel and bash them with a rolling pin (or wine glass!) until you have lovely biscuit sand. Then add your melted butter and mix until you form a wet sand consistency. Place at the bottom of your tin and press down to create an even layer. Pop it in the fridge whilst you make the blackberry topping and filling.
2.Now to make the blackberry topping simply heat the sugar and blackberries in a pan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and mixture becomes glossy and slightly thickened. Set aside to cool
3. Now for the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and lime until creamy. Then add the double cream and whisk until smooth and thick. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base and leave in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Then once cooled you can add your blackberry topping and chill overnight to set.