As a kid, I have a fond memory of going blackberry picking with my mum the first weekend after school had started again in September. Blackberries seem to be appearing earlier and earlier so we have already been and returned with a surprising haul. We used half for the traditional crumble and the other half for the recipe below. Many will be returning to school this week after a significant time out so here is a little blackberry weekend activity to mark the first weekend back in school after a very historical summer. There’s still a few blackberries out there so time to make the most of this late summer delight. This recipe also makes for a wonderful packed lunch item.
I’m sure a lot of the parents out there are familiar with the dried fruit snacks named YoYos. I cannot claim this recipe and owe it to Pam Corbin of River Cottage, but it makes for a wonderful, natural and kid-friendly YoYo alternative. And being mostly from foraged goods, it is pretty much free!
Blackberry and apple leather (i.e. YoYos)
500g peeled, cored, chopped cooking apples
Juice of 1 lemon
(We added damsons to ours too as we had discovered a tree on an afternoon stroll)
Preheat the oven to 60°C
Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper
Put your fruit into a pan along with the lemon juice. Cook gently until soft and pulpy
Press the mixture through a sieve into a bowl until you have a nice, smooth fruity purée. (This can take a while so at this point Poppi went off to make some cards which are traditionally found in the YoYo wrappers.)
Divide the mixture between the baking sheets and spread thinly with the back of a spoon
Put the baking sheets in the oven and leave for 12-18 hours until the fruit is completely dry and able to peel easily off the greaseproof
Roll the fruit and cut into 2cm rolls (we tried cutting it first and then rolling but this was way more faffy and the rolls weren’t nearly as tight)
You can make little YoYo packets with the cards or store in an airtight tin