Autumn is the time for foraging, and we’ve recently turned our attention to the brambles which are appearing in all the hedgerows near the Long Barn. They will keep ripening for some time yet, so it’s worth picking them if you find them, and keep an eye open for when the next crop is due. We keep a couple of bags in our pockets whenever we go on a walk so we can collect the best ones we come across. 

We are never quite organised enough to remember to take gloves, but brave the scratches and nettle stings to harvest them; all because we have the best recipe ever for a delicious bramble mousse, courtesy of Ian’s late mum, Jean. And here it is:-

Each bag of brambles we get is turned into bramble puree which if we aren’t using straight away, we freeze. First rinse the brambles, and pick out any leaves, then cook in a saucepan until soft with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar per 500g brambles. It takes about 30 minutes or so, until the brambles are soft. We then use a stick blender to puree it down to a purple slush, and then sieve it to get rid of any pips etc.

Jean’s recipe uses 180 ml puree with extra for serving, so we work on a generous 350 ml in total, this should give you four good portions of dessert.

Next, whisk 3 eggs with 85g caster sugar over hot water, until it’s thick and creamy. Jean’s strict test is wait until the mixture will leave a ribbon you can see for 1 minute.

The gelatine she used was the packet variety, and we have to admit this is when this recipe is a bit trial and error. We suggest 9g of gelatine which is dissolved in hot water and lemon juice. While this dissolves, lightly whip 140 ml double cream.

Now’s the time to combine everything, and Jean’s recipe suggests that it is folded in gently and stirred until combined. So, add 180ml of the puree and the cream gently, fold in carefully then stir over ice until it thickens. If you miss out the thickening over ice stage you run the risk of the gelatine clumping and forming lumps in your mousse. Then either split into individual glasses or one large serving dish. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, and then serve with the puree and some extra cream. It really is delicious.