What with all the weather we’ve had this summer, the hedgerows’ bounty has been a little low key. But there are still just enough blackberries to constitute a Glut.

A scenic route home and a fortuitous plastic bag in the car led to a glut of blackberries this week. Now just as summers were sunnier, days were longer and cakes were bigger, so blackberry harvests were, I’m sure, more copious in my youth. Still, the thrill of free food makes any size of harvest a bounty to be treasured in my view.

Being blessed as I am with cupboards full of the jams from mothers, village fetes and Yummy Cotswoldian Mummies, I’ve steered clear of the classic bramble jam. Instead, having washed my blackberries I go with an altogether simpler fridge-jam/compost/goo which serves as a perfect excuse to make Blackberry Rice Pudding. Blackberries don’t keep, even a night in the fridge will see them bloom into moldy green horridness, so act fast.:

For the blackberry goo:

  • Some blackberries (roughly 350g)
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar (and perhaps a bit extra for the very sweet of tooth)

Put everything in a saucepan (non-stick is preferable to a metal pan as sometimes I find this gives the goo a metallic taste) and bubble on a medium heat until the blackberries release their juices and the juices have boiled off a little to leave a thin syrup. Once cooled it’ll keep in the fridge for around 4-5 days.

For the rice pudding (adapted from ‘Great British Food’ by the lovely folk at Canteen. Feeds 2 or 1 proper Glutton):

  • 50g arborio or pudding rice
  • 300ml full-fat milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 20g caster sugar

Put everything except the sugar in a pan and cook with the lid off on a very low heat for about an hour (stir every few minutes, and more frequently at the end to prevent sticking). It should be nicely thickened. Stir in the sugar and serve with a big dollop of blackberry goo, a fire and a labrador.