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This page gives people a view into our daily lives living in the west of Ireland. It includes posts about our projects in the ceramic studio as well as projects in the garden, home and kitchen. 


Filtering by Tag: blackberries

Blackberry & Bramley Apple Pie

Alexis Bowman

Picking the brambly apples

Picking the brambly apples


The end of the blackberry harvest meets the start of the apple one so its only natural that we should throw them together in a pie. A good pie filling consists of a smooth sauce with chunky bits as well. So I pre-cook the apples and blackberries to form the sauce and then I add chunky bits of uncooked fruit. I also think its important that the filling is not too sweet so I don't use much honey. Its good to let the tartness of the big sour bramley apples shine through, especially when your serving it with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 


Sweet Shotcrust Pastry:

175g plain white flour

75g butter

40g caster sugar or icing sugar

1 egg

Pie Filling:

Some bramley apples

A big handful of wild blackberries

Some honey

A sprinkle of ground cloves


1. To make pastry just throw everything into a food processor and whizz until it forms a ball. Roll it out and cover the base of your tin, saving half for the lid!

2. To make apple sauce peel and chop apples keeping half the pieces to one side. Add honey & ground cloves. Simmer with the lid on until soft and fluffy. It doesn't take long so watch out, you don't want it to burn.

3. To make blackberry sauce throw blackberries & some sugar in another pot and simmer until soft. Run it all thru a sieve to make a gorgeous smooth & thick sauce. 

4. Pop the two sauces into your pie base. Chop in some chunky pieces of apple and whole blackberries. Roll out the pastry lid. Glue it on using egg wash & pinch the edges to join them together. Brush more egg wash or milk on top and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Pop in the over at 180 degrees Celsius for around 30 - 40 minutes (until golden brown). Serve with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. YUM!


Blackberry Soda

Alexis Bowman

I am making my way through the freezer - it needs to be defrosted. So I am using up all of last years harvest which includes a huge stash of blackberries. This simple fermented soda can be made with any fruit, fresh or frozen. The measurements in this recipe do not have to be exact. 


  • About 6 cups of Blackberries 
  • About 1 cup Honey or Sugar
  • About 2 tablespoon of Sauerkraut Culture (or another like whey from strained yogurt) 


1. Put blackberries in a pot and cover with water (I use about 1 & 1/2 liters). Simmer for about 30 minutes. Take off heat & add honey/sugar then leave it sit until cool. 

2. Strain out blackberries.  Dilute this syrup with more water (measure according to the flavor strength of your preference). I added about an extra 1 liter. 

3. Add your culture then pour into a sterilized demijohn and fit an airlock. 

4. Leave it sit for around 3 days. During which it will ferment and bubble away. 

5. Move soda into plastic screw top bottles (if using glass be mindful that they can explode with the pressure if left long enough!). Store in the fridge. They will be ready in around 3 - 4 weeks. It will get fizzier and more dry the longer you leave it. But don't leave it too long otherwise you will loose half the soda in frothy overflow when opening it up.