Scrumping in the Garden of England – Ponds House Apple and Blackberry Parcels

Weekend visits to my paternal grandparents in Kent were usually an adventure. Being great advocates of Dachshunds and fresh air in the lungs, walks in the neighbouring orchards were pretty standard post lunch on these visits.

Autumn time walks were all the more fun as my grandmother would challenge us with scrumping for Bramley’s and finding the biggest blackberries in the hedgerows.

Ensured that as long as these bulbous apples were foraged from the ground, we were very keen to partake in the quest knowing that we would most probably get to enjoy the fruits of our labour, quite literally, in some form or other.   I question the legality of scrumping a little now, but it was great fun at the time and what the heck, it was 25 years ago…

Last weekend history repeated itself as my father took his granddaughter, my daughter, out to collect apples, the only difference being that the apples were from my parents garden and not the neighbours crop!

With the apples sorted, we then embarked on our blackberry hunt with my sister and gorgeous nephew.  Knowing that this year would not bring in the most bountiful harvest because of the appalling weather, we set off into the fields, in Sussex this time.

Our treasure was not the most impressive, but entirely perfect for what I had in mind for a delicious autumnal pudding…

Ponds House Apple and Blackberry Crispy Parcels
Makes 6

Ingredients and suggested quantities
5 x large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 x bowl of blackberries, washed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 x tbsp brown sugar
1 packet of filo pastry
¼ packet of unsalted butter, melted
Icing sugar to dust

  1. Soften the apples in a pan on a medium heat for about 5 minutes with enough water to just cover the base of the pan.  As the apples start to breakdown, add the sugar and the cinnamon.  When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and chuck in the blackberries and allow to cool.  Test the sweetness and add a little more sugar if needed
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180c
  3. Remove the filo pastry from the fridge to come to room temperature before starting to use
  4. Cut the filo sheets into 6 squares approx  10cm squared and cover with a clean, damp tea towel to avoid the filo drying up and becoming too crispy to use
  5. Onto a greased tray, place one square of filo and brush with the melted butter.  Place another square on top of the first piece, rotating by 90 degrees and then repeat again with a third piece
  6. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the apple and blackberries into the centre of the pastry.  Fold in each corner of the pastry to the middle and pinch together, brushing with the melted butter to help hold the parcel together.  Repeat for the remaining 5 parcels
  7. Pop into the over for approximately 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown
  8. Dust with icing sugar before serving with double cream.  Careful  though, the insides will be piping hot!

I have frozen the remaining apple and blackberries into ramekins so that I can pull them out and top with some crumble for instant individual pudding.  Even without the topping, just served with custard or yogurt is pretty good.

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