It’s my first year with a berry harvest. And, goodness, it’s been a whopper. A proper old-fashioned, sinks full of berries, break the scales, stain the trug kind of glut. Redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, blackberries – we’ve had the works.
I wish I could take any credit at all for such a bountiful harvest, but I cannot. Half of the patch I grow on (which belongs to my neighbour – full story here) is fruit, which was planted yonks ago, and the other half is veg. It’s the veg half I’ve taken over this year so I’m just a lucky recipient of my neighbour’s berry glut. Though there’s plenty to go at and even with our best combined efforts there’s still too much to eat.
There’s effort in a berry harvest. It’s one of the few crops where the harvesting takes almost more time than the effort of growing. Picking, de-stalking, topping and tailing, washing – it’s quite laborious. And then there’s the question of what to do with it all because, once picked, the fruit will last little more than a day. Jam and desserts are the main solution. But there’s only so much jam roly-poly and summer pudding a girl can eat, even this one. So I’ve been experimenting with other ways to preserve the glut.
My favourite so far, for the blackcurrants at least, is frozen yogurt. Ice-cream will be made as well, but a freezer full of ice-cream is a test of restraint I am bound to fail so I’ve developed a half-way house that is delicious but not quite as indulgent.
Whilst I’ve used lollypop moulds here, you can just freeze it in a tub and scoop it out. Either way, it benefits from 30 minutes out of the freezer before serving to soften it up. And if you want berry heaven instantly, the unfrozen mix makes a great smoothie. Finally, bananas are, I know, a bit of a departure from my usual local/seasonal vibe, but they add sweetness and make for a creamier texture so I’ve let them in just this once.