Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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I am so excited because I just found a bag of blackberries at the back of my freezer. I thought I'd used them all, though no! I haven't. These will be perfect for making a yummy dessert, and it is party food time of year, isn't it?!

Rubus fruticosus

I could say a lot about blackberries (Rubus fruticosus), indeed there's a lot to say about this fantastic fruit. I love them; their abundance, the varying flavour and their versatility in recipes.

 

One hundred grams (100g) gives you 35% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C too.

 

From sauces to go with meats, pop them into crepes, to ice creams, crumbles and the classic coulis. Ah the coulis - a thick sauce made from pureed and strained fruits. It is perfect for those seed-rich blackberries.

Rubus fruticosus

A coulis it is. Last year I made this dessert for a New Year's Eve party with friends. It went down a treat. Lets face it, sweet, vitamin C and good company are daily cravings in winter, for me anyway. Here's a wonderfully rich, nutritious and sweet treat for you to share.

 

Did you know that blackberries also contain a little calcium?

There's a lot more I could tell you about blackberries on my Foraging Courses.

 

Here's the recipe. I served the coulis with a simple baked cheesecake, which I also share here. If you love blackberries like I do, here's my Best Blackberry Jam recipe, and even some reflective words and facts about Dear Miss Blackberry.

Baked cheesecake with blackberry coulis

Baked Cheesecake with Blackberry Coulis

I had baked cheesecake on my mind for a few days and was invited to a dinner party to celebrate New Year’s Eve with some friends. Always wanting to bring something if I can, my suggestion of a cheesecake was welcomed and I set to. Wilds make things a little exciting and different for me, so I decided to make a vitamin c rich coulis to accompany it. There was no ricotta in my local supermarket, and quark seemed to replace it really nicely, giving it a good texture.

Ingredients

250g blackberries

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 dessert spoon water

125g digestive biscuits

35g butter

(plus fibre from the blackberry fruits)

250g mascarpone

250g quark

2 large eggs

100g unrefined sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

To make the couli, add the fruits and water into a small pan, mash the fruits a little and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a fine sieve, strain the liquid into a bowl, making sure you get every last bit and then return the liquid to the pan with the brown sugar. Put the sieved fruits aside. Bring to a simmer for a second time and stir until thicken (a few minutes), then take off the heat to cool down.

Grease a 20cm baking tin. Crush the biscuits in a tough plastic bag with a rolling pin, or in a blender. Melt the butter in a small pan, and stir in crushed biscuits and blackberry fibre and mix well. Press the mixture evenly into the baking tray and place in the fridge for 1 hour. 20 minutes before ready, preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cheese, quark, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour over the base and bake for 1 hour or until it is set in the middle and comes away from the sides slightly. Allow to cool and serve in slices with blackberry couli drizzled over.

A slice of cheese cake with blackberry coulis

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