apple, blackberry & damson tarts

baking, fruit, recipe

The two apple trees in the centre of the lawn are the heart and soul of our garden.

BeFunky_image (38).jpgThey are over half a century old, and they show their history- bark like an old man’s hands, moss, trunks leading to a hundred branches. As they have grown and developed, so has the life that they support.

BeFunky_image (37).jpgRight now, the trees are at the best. Just as the first leaves are falling, the apples are ripening to emerald and crimson under the September sun.

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Our crop of Discovery apples has been few, but the trees have been resting after their bumper crop last year. Just like us, sometimes the trees need to take a breather. And right now, in this brief September window, fruit trees and hedgerows are holding onto the produce of a years growth.

Just as the seasons change, I think the food on our plates should. These apple, blackberry and damson tarts are the kitchen’s idea of late summer and early autumn. All you need is some pastry, either shop bought or homemade (but whichever it is, all-butter), jam and fruit. And a spoonful of cinnamon. Each of the ingredients- damson jam, blackberries and the apples all offer sharpness as well as sweetness.


as usual- double flour to butter- 230g plain flour, 115g butter

30g caster sugar


4 apples

a couple of handfuls of blackberries

jam- blackberry, blackcurrant, damson or plum would all work well

If you are making the pastry, rub the butter into the flour or whizz together in a processor.

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When that’s done, add the sugar and just enough water to bring it together (about 2 tablespoons).

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Put the dough in the fridge, ready to roll out when the fillings done. For that, heat the jam in a small pan and squeeze in half a lemon. Lastly, peel and roughly chop the apples and mix the berries, apples and jam in the pan.

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Roll out the pastry into circles to match your tart tins or one big sheet, and then pour over the fillings. Bake until the pastry is browning around the edges.

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We all hear the message to eat seasonal, eat local, to reduce our food miles. But eating this way, from the garden to plate, is the way things are meant to be.

4 thoughts on “apple, blackberry & damson tarts

  1. I couldn’t stand it any longer – seeing those tarts every time I checked your blog, so I made them, and four still-warm tarts with ice-cream disappeared in a blink, two of them with someone who doesn’t eat desserts as a rule – a terrific endorsement, don’t you think? And it is not yet time for tea. Hmm. I guessed about 1/2 cup of jam for 2 large apples, blueberries, a handful each of rasps and blackberries (in limited abundance in the shops here).
    Can’t wait to see what you will have for us to try next!
    Take care,


  2. McGregor thank you, it means a terrific amount! I had them with cream, it’s a good mix!
    And sorry for any bits of recipe missing, I prefer too make things less like a set of rules and more for having a go at things with what you may have in the cupboards and what you enjoy eating. These tarts were adapted in the same way from a cookbook, but perhaps Ill try and be a bit more detailed. Your berry trio sounds scrummy.
    Who do you cook for who caused the disappearing tarts?!
    Tomorrow I will be posting another bake, but there will be some savoury and non food coming up, as Im visiting Sicily.
    Again, thank you.


    1. Tommy,
      The recipe was no problem and I rather liked that I had to step away a bit. Don’t be too fussed about detail. We’ll “get it” or we’ll ask. Who I cook for is easy: a husband – the no-dessert guy – my daughter, and her three children aged 5, 12, and 13. Some of us are a little more cautious than others, but we are generally open to trying new things. A quinoa (new to us) salad, also a bit removed from the original recipe, recently gained status as a “go-to” recipe. I wait all sumer for the soup-making days of fall, and I make bread in fits and starts when I have time: soup and bread tomorrow. How we manage the cooking in our household depends on our inventiveness. One of the children is a race swimmer and has practices six days a week. The other plays water polo. They do not swim at the same times or in the same pool. My daughter cooks for them on her mornings off so that there is something ready to eat in the half-hour between the school bus and McGregor’s family taxi.

      Sicily should be full of pleasant delights for you, culinary and photographic – enjoy, and go safe. M

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That second photo is wonderful. I love the bare wood, the curling bark, the different lichens… It would be nice to think our apple trees would look like that in forty years time but I have a strong suspicion I won’t be around to see them!!

    Liked by 1 person

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