Blackberry Stem Candy and Pickle
This recipe was envisioned by a good friend of mine, Fergus Drennan, when thinking up new ways to interact with wild plants it’s difficult by very worthwhile to think through the potential of using different parts of the plants we commonly interact with. The stems of brambles can be used when they’re young, between May and June, when they’re new, vibrant green and still flexible. Even better – when they’re chopped finely they give you an amazing star shape. So here’s two quick recipes for using the stems of brambles.
To make 1 medium jar
4 Fresh Bramble Shoots, with the spikes scraped off and finely chopped
40 bramble leaves
200ml boiling water
200g caster sugar
Place the bramble leaves and boiling water in a pan and boil for 15 minutes, with the lid of the pan on
Pour through a sieve to remove the leaves
To the liquid add the sugar and stir until fully dissolved
To this bramble leaf syrup place the de-spikes and finely chopped bramble stems and leave to rest with the lid on for three days
Remove the stems from the syrup, boil the syrup and store for future use, place on baking parchment on a baking tray and place in the oven on 160C with the door open for 1-2 hours or until fully dry.
They will be non-sticky and crunchy when ready, store in an air tight jar and use in deserts and even salads to give a crunch.