Hello dear reader,
Well it is official – autumn has arrived in the northern hemisphere!
After the autumnal equinox on 22nd September, the days are now shorter than the nights. Usually this heralds biting winds and cloudy skies here in Scotland, conjuring dreams of hot crumbles with warming custard. Indeed one cold night turned my thoughts in that direction – however a blazing sun the very next day brought me quickly back to summer recipes!
A late summer heat wave with a warm sun and clear skies is holding nicely, so much foraging is still being done with ease and comfort. The bramble (blackberry) crop has been outstanding this year and their aromatic notes have been almost overpowering in their intensity. With this floral edge to the gently tart blackberries I just had to pair them with a sweet sticky marshmallowy pavlova.
The decoration is a blackberry coulis, or fruit sauce, which is really easy to make!
Blackberry Coulis – recipe
- 300g blackberries
- 60g sugar
- 2 mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Mash with a potato masher. Strain out the seeds using a sieve.
The coulis can be kept in a jar in the fridge for a few days, or frozen in ice-cube trays for several months.
Blackberry Pavlova – recipe
- 3 eggs whites
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 small teaspoon white vinegar
- 6 oz caster sugar
1) Preheat oven to moderate temperature (180 degrees C, 350 degrees F, gas mark 4).
2) Grease a baking tin, add greaseproof paper, grease it & then wet it & shake off the excess water.
3) Beat the egg whites until really stiff. Add vanilla essence, cornflour and vinegar.
4) Continue beating and add caster sugar, one spoonful at a time.
5) Spoon onto the baking sheet and smooth into a circle with a flattish top.
6) Put in oven and immediately turn the temperature down to almost cool (150 degrees C, 300 degrees F, gas mark 2). Bake for an hour, then switch the oven off & allow to cool in the oven.
At this stage the pavlova can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
At least one hour before serving, top with whipped cream, not quite to the edge. This helps the inside to become more soft and mallowy and the outside to stay crisp. Decorate as desired – I used my blackberry coulis and a few blackberries.
Of course many of my readers are in the southern hemisphere, so here’s a Spring Pavlova for you to treat yourselves to.
P.S. You know how I love a challenge, so I am entering my Autumn Pavlova into a few blogger challenges…
The Vegetable Palette run by Shaheen at A2K – The Seasonal Veg Table. Shaheen’s palette for this month is Purple and Blues, and these brambles are vibrant in their purpleness! And, no, I haven’t gone mad and suddenly decided that brambles are a vegetable – Shaheen’s challenge is for fruit or veg!
Credit Crunch Munch run by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, but this month hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake. This challenge is about saving money, and I can’t think of a better way to beat the credit crunch than by foraging your food for free from the countryside!
Aga-inspired recipe challenge by Rix, whose seasonal ingredient this month is blackberries!
Do remember to save my Autumn Pavlova recipe to your favourite Social Media…