“Tells me England calls, whatever she’s done wrong
Always calls, this is where you belong
I’m lonesome for a place I know
Yes, I’m lonesome for a place I know”
~Everything But the Girl~
Of all the countries I’ve traveled to, England is the one place that I always come back to time and again. Most of my time is spent in Dorset, a maritime county which fronts the English Channel and offers breathtaking views of chalk cliffs nearly 1000 feet high. My camera is with me at all times and there’s never a lull in snapping images. Beautiful sandy beaches beckon to the sun-loving English who have the picnic down to a fine art. Each time we visit, we nearly always walk one of the many coastal or woodland paths, sometimes stopping at a local pub for lunch.
Famous for its food, Dorset farms not only produce many fine meat products, but superior cheeses such as the Dorset Blue Vinny, the only cheese in Dorset to be awarded the Geographical Protected Status, a wealth of fish and shellfish, creamy luscious ice cream (Purbeck Ice Cream), baked goods (Dorset Apple cake) and even chilies. The Dorset Naga Chilli, one of the hottest chiles in the world are in season from August to November and celebrates the harvest with a food festival. Food festivals abound in Dorset showcasing all the delicious food produced in the area.
I have vivid memories of picking wild juicy blackberries abundant on the hedgerows lining the narrow roads leading to picturesque villages. While living in England, we would take our bike, a bucket hanging on handlebars, and pick blackberries to freeze for the winter hoping we would not eat our bounty before we got home. In the winter, these frozen blackberries make a mouth-watering Hedgerow and Orchard Crumble, a recipe from my dear English friend, Jacqui. But for this post on England celebrating the European Community Culinary ABC, I chose an easy blackberry syllabub, a perfect summer dessert. Food4Thought is host for our continuing journey with the classic jacket potatoes.
Recipe From Flavours of Dorset
300g/10 oz blackberries
75g/3 oz superfine sugar
300ml/10 fluid oz heavy cream
Finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons dry white wine, optional
Wash and pick over blackberries. Reserve 6 best for decoration, then using a potato masher, crush the remaining berries with the lemon zest and 50g/2oz of the sugar, until completely mashed. In a separate bowl, whip together the cream, the lemon juice and the remaining sugar, gradually adding in the wine, if using. Continuing whipping until the mixture begins to thicken and soft peaks form. The mixture should be thick and light, but not stiff. Gently fold the mixture into the mashed blackberries, using a spoon to create a rippled effect.
Divide the syllabub among 6 glass dessert dishes and top each with a reserved blackberry. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best enjoyed the same day made. Serves 6.
England called me a few weeks ago for a short five days, but now I’m back home, she continues her pull. Looking forward to next time! I hope you have enjoyed my tour of Dorset and the photos from my trips.
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