We picked these blackberries in our local London park yesterday. Sure, in a few weeks, when we get our hands on some windfall apples, we’ll make blackberry and apple crumble and a pie or two, but right now the absolute best thing to do with blackberries is to make a compote—so easy and even more delicious than the sum of its parts. Have it for breakfast with some greek yoghurt, or after dinner with goat’s cheese or shortbread and whipped cream. The magic trick which transforms this dish from the humble to the sublime comes from the great Myrtle Allen at Ballymaloe House in Cork, and it is the addition of sweet geranium leaves.
Here is Irish chef Rory O’Connell’s perfect recipe:
Serves 4 for breakfast or as a pudding, or 8 with cheese. Takes 15 minutes all in, plus time to cool.
4 sweet geranium leaves (just pick them from any scented geranium plant, but the best are from pelargonium graveolens)
Place the cold water, sugar and leaves in a small saucepan.
Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove the leaves. They will be wilted by now but their flavour will have been infused into the syrup.
Add the blackberries and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the syrup is a deep blackberry colour and a little reduced.
Allow to cool