Though the weather might be telling us otherwise, it is almost the end of August and prime bramble season. Our recipe of the week is the Oaty Bramble Squares from Sue Lawrence’s definitive compendium Scottish Baking.
Oaty Bramble Squares from Scottish Baking by Sue Lawrence
All over Scotland, the berries known as blackberries in England are called brambles, whether they are wild or cultivated. Wild brambles of course have a much more intense flavour but the whopping farmed ones are far easier to come by; although there are few foraging trips more satisfying than going brambling. Just be sure you don’t tell anyone else where you found the bushes, or next year the berries could all be gone by the time you set off with your basket.
These moist little treats are great for picnics or to enjoy with an afternoon cuppa. Don’t use frozen brambles, as they will be too soggy and dampen the light, coconutty sponge.
200g /7oz self-raising flour
100g/3½oz porridge oats
200g/7oz butter, diced
250g/9oz light muscovado sugar
75g/2¾oz desiccated coconut
3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
350g/12oz fresh brambles (blackberries)
Place the flour, oats and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub in the butter, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and coconut, then remove about 4 heaped tablespoons of the mixture and set aside. To the main bowl, slowly add the eggs, stirring until combined,
and tip this into a baking parchment-lined 23cm/9in baking tin. Press down with the back of a spoon and scatter over the brambles.
Spoon over the remaining mixture and press down gently with the palms of both hands.
Bake at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 55–60 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a wire rack and cool before cutting into squares.