Organic September, autumn days and blackberry season arrives


The sun is definitely lower in the sky, there’s a noticeable chill in the air and I know autumn is starting to settle in because the blackberries have started appearing in the hedgerows.

It’s also the first week in Organic September, a month-long campaign and a cause that is very close to my heart. Led by the Soil Association, the UK’s highest certifier of organic produce, the month of celebrations aims to promote awareness of organic produce and encourage shoppers to think about what they are buying and make small swaps where they can. It is a pledge that is so important to me and to my teams at Daylesford and Bamford, not only for the future of food and farming but for the health and welfare of the planet.

Jez, head of our Market Garden and his team will be hosting tours of our garden every Friday afternoon throughout September for you to come and get first-hand insight into the sustainable world of our organic farming. There is something for everyone to learn (and taste too). For more details, click here.

Blackberry season is one of the great joys of autumn. I always took my children blackberrying with me when they were young, and now I love watching my grandchildren’s faces light up as they scramble among the hedgerows.

Blackberries should be available wherever you are in the country: they pop up in riverbanks, parks and hedgerows in towns and in the countryside – though I wouldn’t suggest picking the berries from busy roads because of the pollution, nor any that are low down. And if you’re looking for a way to make use of your berries, our Cookery School team has put together this light and fruity autumn clafoutis, perfect for a warming pudding this weekend.

Blackberry clafoutis

Serves 2–4

20g butter, plus extra for greasing

2 tbsp demerara sugar

50g plain flour

pinch of sea salt

grated zest of ½ a lemon

40g caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten

270ml milk

225g freshly picked blackberries

organic double cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease four 9cm ramekins (or 2 slightly larger skillets should you have them). Sprinkle and coat the bottom and edges of each with half the demerara and set aside.

Melt the 20g butter in a pan, then continue to heat gently until it starts to turn golden.

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt, lemon zest and sugar and stir to combine. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter and whisk together until you get a smooth batter.

Divide the blackberries between the moulds and pour the batter evenly over each. Place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes or until set, but with a slight wobble.

Sprinkle the remaining demerara sugar over the top and serve warm with organic double cream.