We went for a walk today, the sun shone down with amazing strength but was tempered by a wind that gave just a hint of the winter to come. This was a walk with a purpose, to pick blackberries. We started picking them by the pond and the river at the end of July and I reckon we will still get some into October.
We took Buster our daft dog and were also accompanied by Barney the cat. I sometimes wonder what our french neighbours make of this rag tag group which can sometimes include the other 2 cats in trail.
We wanted the blackberries for a bramble mousse for a dinner party we were having on Sunday, of course over the last few months we have had blackberry and apple crumble and pie not to mention bramble jelly and blackberry and apple jam. I have to say that fresh french bread, butter and a generous serving of the intense fruit flavour of the blackberry jelly is a petit dejeuner made in heaven.
We had also run out of windfall apples so the mousse made sense as well as a change, however our nearest neighbour who has a dairy and where we get the most delicious organic milk straight from the cow, asked us if we wanted some eggs and apples last time we went for milk and we now have a huge bag of apples, I think a crumble is likely.
Mind you now we have some apples I am tempted to make my signature dish. We were holidaying in a gite in Blainville on the Normandy coast some years ago and it occurred to me that it would be good to make a meal from some of the local Normandy products, pork, creme freche, calvados, and of course apples.
So I browned some pork chops with the apples and an onion, put it in a crockpot with a generous slug of calvados, I have also used cider and pommeau a sort of local sherry made from apples, oh and lots of garlic.
At the end I put some creme freche in and not any old creme freche, I used a local one called REO, we almost visited the factory which was just down the road, they also make butter and cheese, it is available in the UK in supermarkets and it is very creamy. I serve my pork normandy with sauted potatoes and a stir fry veg.
Of course my arrogance in thinking I had actually invented this combination has since long evaporated when I discovered the recipe in no end of cook books. Ho hum, never mind it still tastes the biz.
Anyway back to the blackberries, got to keep an eye on the dog, he eats them straight off the vine!