Foraging time in September’s kitchen!

There’s a really good crop of blackberries growing in the hedgerows this year – not sure if that’s a sign of a bad winter but I’m making the most of them whilst I can! Our neighbours have let one grow over our fence as well so we’ve got some extras that I’m sure they won’t miss!

They freeze really well and a handful added into an apple crumble is a real treat in the winter. This strudel is a bit more effort but is well worth it and the pear and blackberry combination works really well together

Pear and Blackberry Strudel

Serves 4-6 Takes about an hour

350g pears (about 3), ripe but firm

50g blackberries

50g Demerara sugar

1 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon finely chopped toasted flaked almonds

6 sheets filo pastry plus 3 cut in half lengthways

Approx 50g melted unsalted butter

3 tablespoons dry white breadcrumbs

For the topping:

15g demerara sugar

15g flaked almonds

  • Lightly grease a baking tray and dampen a tea towel ready to cover the spare Filo pastry as you work to stop it from drying out.
  • Peel, core and chop the pears and mix together in a bowl with the blackberries and the demerara sugar.
  • In a small bowl mix together the granulated sugar with the ginger and chopped almonds.
  • 2 - mix sugar, ginger & almonds web
  • Place a large piece of baking parchment on the worktop and lay 1½ sheets of filo pastry lengthways so that they overlap a little in the middle. It should measure approx 30x25cm
  • Brush all over with a little melted butter then sprinkle with a teaspoon of the nutty sugar mix.
  • Repeat the layers 6 times, staggering the joins each time, brushing and sprinkling each layer.
  • For the top layer, brush with butter then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
  • spreading filling web
  • Spread the pear and blackberry filling over the pastry, keeping it about 5cm away from the edges. Fold the 2 short sides in about 5cm.
  • Use the baking parchment to help you roll the strudel carefully into a fairly tight sausage shape. Place on the baking tray with the join on the bottom.
  • Brush with melted butter then sprinkle over the demerara sugar and flaked almonds.
  • Add topping web
  • Pop in the oven 190C/fan170/gas 5 for about 35-40 minutes until the top is crisp and golden. If it looks as if it is browning too quickly then just lay a piece of tinfoil over the top.
  • Dust with icing sugar and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Strudel is best eaten warm as the pastry can go soggy if left for too long. If you have leftovers then reheat in a moderate oven.
  • Serve with loads of creamy custard!
  • Finish shot with cream web