A purply black-coloured berry comprising many individual seed-containing fruits surrounding a cone-shaped core. Wonderfully juicy, they're good raw (straight from the hedge!) or cooked and are bursting with vitamin C. Wild, they're often called brambles.
End of July through to mid October.
Choose the best
Look for plump, shiny, tender berries, with none that are mushy or mouldy. If you buy a punnet, check that the underside isn't stained - that means the lower level of berries has been crushed.
As blackberries are very delicate, avoid washing them if possible, but if you have to, do it just before using them and drain well.
Arrange them on a layer of kitchen paper on a plate, so that they don't crush each other, and store them in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge an hour before eating, so that they're at room temperature. Eat within a couple of days of buying or picking.
Sprinkle with sugar and/or créme de mure liqueur and serve with cream; purée and sieve to make a coulis for ice cream or to make sherbets, fools or sorbets. Bake with chopped apples in a crumble.
Try loganberry or raspberry.