• Blackberrying

    Article by Ey@el

    Available in English

    Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
    Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
    A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
    Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
    Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
    Ebon in the hedges, fat
    With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
    I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
    They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

    ~ Sylvia Plath

    I will always remember this poem because I had chosen it for my graduation paper for the American poetry class I took at university. And today, I realise the strange significance blackberries have always had for me. Perhaps because they represent a rebellious, incorruptible force of nature ; the tender and delicate fruit of a plant regarded as weed, standing up to anything and able to protect itself against all odds? Cut them off, brambles will always find a way to grow back. Blackberries are hard to find, you need to try hard to spot them and not be afraid of getting scratched to have the privilege to pick them up. Unlike their raspberry cousins, they are not ripe when red but rather when they take on their purplish black colour.

    The other day (that's two months ago!), on my daily walk in the woods, I was saddened not to find any blackberry this year, whereas in June I had been able to pick up many wild strawberries. I asked the Universe to guide me to these wonderful tangy berries and then forgot all about it. On my way back, I felt urged to take a different path, cutting through the undergrowth (and overcome my fear of falling after my accident of three years ago) and there I found a lovely lane and a small tree loaded with black fruits (obviously maqui berries though I'm not 100% sure). As I stopped to take a picture, my eyes fell on brambles below where I spotted the much sought-after blackberries. And the more I picked the more I would find!

    Following through the flood of inspiration, I ended up with this recipe of gluten-free vegan pies which turned out even more delicious than I could ever hope for.

    For your information, blackberries owe their purplish black colour to their high content of anthocyanins which are very powerful antioxidants and help prevent cardiovascular diseases by strengthening capillary walls. As for coconut, no need to remind you of its many benefits on health, whichever part is used.

    However, let me warn you against the official disinformation propaganda spreading everywhere to present it as unhealthy so as to take you away from whichever is healthy for you so that you remain forever dependent on Big Pharma and the system. So in doubt, listen to your heart. After many years of ingesting this toxic food, my health should have deteriorated, not improved; my blood cholesterol levels should not have gone up, not down; and mostly, I should be overweight (I weigh 46 kg ≈ 7.24 st). Anyway, I have nothing to sell and I never earned a single penny from my blogging activity. I'm sharing with you because it's something deeply ingrained in me and for no other reason.

    Ingredients

    Makes 10 mini pies:

    Pastry

    - 150 g oatmeals and buckwheat flakes mix
    - 50 g almond powder
    - 2 tbsp coconut oil
    - 2 tbsp agave syrup

    Filling

    - 200 g blackberries

    Topping

    - 1 mini carton coconut cream
    - 1 tsp agave syrup

    Instructions

    Mix all the ingredients for the pastry together in a large bowl using your hands to get a consistent, grainy mixture. Add some coconut oil if necessary.

    Grease mini pie moulds and press the pastry on the sides and bottom. Let it sit for 5 minutes in the freezer to harden and bake for 15 minutes at 180°C.

    Once unmould and cooled, fill the tarts with blackberries.

    For the whipped cream topping, let the coconut cream sit in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to chill it. Transfer into a bowl and add the agave syrup then whip with an electric mixer (you can use a hand whisk but mind your wrist!). Arrange on the blackberries and store in the fridge until serving.



    Raw version with wild strawberries and a couple of raspberries.

    NOTE: The pastry can also be used raw. In this case, let it sit longer in the freezer (20 minutes). You may use oatmeals only. I used a mix because that's all I had available, but I must say I love the flavour of buckwheat and the colour it gives to the pastry. You may substitute raspberries, blueberries or gooseberries for blackberries and honey for agave syrup. And of course, drop the whipped cream. But if you don't, you may use an icing bag to arrange the cream topping on your tarts so that it looks nicer and more professional.

    Last but not least, I suggest you learn French for I had a funny pun with blackberries, walls and tarts that has no equivalent in English. Ouch!

    Ey@el

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