Blackberries are in the hedgerows NOW, so don't miss out on the opportunity of some foraging in order to make some blackberry and apple pie.
The ones growing near me aren't so plump or juicy this year, so for any that aren't quite so delectable near you, as well as leaving a good supply on the bushes for foxes, badgers, birds, mice and mammals, how about making some blackberry vodka, in time for a Christmas tipple? You will need:-
1) Usually the later we leave them the sweeter and juicier they'll be, but for those which have already been picked, washed and dried but don't make the crumble, place the blackberries in a large Kilner jar or bottle.
2) Add the caster sugar along with the vodka. (At this stage you can also split and add in the vanilla pods or a handful of elderberries).
3) Shake gently and store in a cool dark place to infuse for 3 months, occasionally shaking until the sugar dissolves. Then strain the liquid through a sieve or muslin (you can use the blackberries to make a delicious alcoholic pie) and taste. At this stage you can add any more sugar if it needs it and then decant ready to drink, straight or with a mixer, in time for Christmas!