Down at the bottom of the garden

Last weekend was glorious weather wise and what started as a dinner party on Saturday night with friends in the garden turned out to be a late night of talking about the great things we have in Great Britain.  I’m so glad the Olympics have reminded us of this.  As we sat in the garden one of my friends mentioned about the blackberries that are a few weeks early this year, a chat about hedge row food started and I explained about the mulberry tree in my garden, it’s very old, but what fruit one can get that from it that the birds spare is beautiful.  Huge big berries that burst when harvested and a bunch of 30 somethings on Saturday night were covered in mulberry juice all over our faces, hands and running down our arms!  Even with rubber gloves on, harvesting is not easy.

Last year I made mulberry gin by taking 1kg of mulberries, 500g caster sugar (superfine for USA) and 1L of London dry gin.  Placed them both into a large jar, and every week gave it a shake.  6 Months later it was beautiful.
Fruit Cobbler
serves 4-6
1kg any soft fruit (except banana), washed
110g caster sugar
2 tsb fruit cordial (optional)
Topping
250g plain flour, sifted
1/2 level tsp salt
3 level tsp baking powder
120g butter
170ml milk
sprinkling Demerara sugar
Here’s how to make it…
Place the fruit into the base of a baking dish, sprinkle the sugar on top and cordial if using.
In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder and mix together.  Add the butter in small chunks and rub-in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the milk gently and with a table knife, form into a ball.  You may not need all of the milk, but the mixture should be sticky.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture over the fruit and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
Place into the oven at 220C / Gas Mark 7 AGA Baking Oven for about 25-30 minutes until the topping is a golden colour and the fruit oozes through.

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