Blackberry, Walnut & Meringue Pudding

August 17th, 2023

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It is around this time of year when the mornings are still chilly that I am grateful for my forethought to stock the freezer with fresh summer berries. I carefully freeze any excess homegrown berries and am always on the lookout for boxes of seconds at local markets. With a little effort at the height of summer, I am rewarded in the cooler months with berries for baking and more.

To freeze smaller berries, I gently rinse them in a colander and leave them to air dry then tumble them straight into a free-flow freezer bag. As long as they aren’t too soft or bruised they won’t clump together. If they are softer, or for large berries such as strawberries that need to be sliced, I freeze them in a single layer on a tray first then once frozen transfer them to a freezer bag.

If you are planning to grow berries this is a good time of year to get planting. They are particularly great for smaller gardens as they can be contained in a small space. Unlike many fruit trees which need space and height to spread their limbs. Blueberries in particular grow well in pots, and raspberry canes can easily be trained along a fence line.

I grow an array of berries, but by far the most prolific is the thornless blackberry. It is an easy-care vine as it doesn’t spread its tendrils underground, unlike the raspberries I am constantly trying to contain. I planted 3 blackberry plants about 10 years ago now, and every summer when I fill bags for the freezer I am thankful I took a punt on some unassuming vines at a market stall all those years ago.

More Blackberry recipes on Homegrown Kitchen (all can be made with frozen berries):

Plus here is a new recipe using some of our frozen berry harvest from autumn.

Blackberry, Walnut & Meringue Pudding

This dessert has three layers of deliciousness, a tender walnut cake, a rich blackberry compote, and a light meringue to top it off. It may look quite detailed but I assure you that it comes together easily and is worth the effort. I particularly love the vibrant flavour of blackberries in this recipe, however, any frozen (or fresh) berries can be used.
Servings 6
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes

Ingredients

Blackberry Compote

  • 3 cups (about 360g) frozen or fresh blackberries (or other berries)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour or tapioca
  • 1 tbsp water

Walnut Cake Base

  • ½ cup (60g) walnut pieces
  • ¾ cup (110g) plain flour (can use gluten-free)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g butter at room temperature, cubed
  • 3 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 2 free-range egg yolks (the whites are used for the meringue)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Meringue

  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar

Instructions

  • First, make the blackberry compote. Place the berries into a wide-based saucepan, cover, and heat over a low heat. Don’t be tempted to add water, the berries will sweat and soften in their own juices. Once the berries are simmering, turn up the heat and add the sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the berries begin to thicken a little. Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl then drizzle this over the bubbling berries. Cook for another minute until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan 150ºC). Grease a 25 cm round pie dish.
  • Make the walnut cake base. Place the walnuts in a food processor. Add 2 tbsp of the flour and blend until the walnuts are finely ground. Add the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla and pulse 6-8 times until the mixture comes together. It will be quite a stiff batter. Scoop into the prepared dish and press evenly to cover the base. Pre-bake in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Meanwhile, make the meringue. Place the egg whites into a stand mixer (or use handheld beaters) and whisk on a medium speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time, mixing until the meringue is thick and glossy.
  • Dollop the blackberry compote over the pre-baked base and carefully spread it out to the sides. Spoon over the meringue smoothing off the surface. Return the dish to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the meringue is set and nicely golden.
  • Cool a little then serve warm.

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Auckland – Cooking Workshops

I am looking forward to teaching in Auckland next weekend after a 2-year break due to Covid disruptions. I will be teaching 3 workshops over the weekend. These are small group demonstration-style classes with plenty of opportunity to ask questions and experience the food. Only a few places left:
Kitchen Essentials – Saturday 26th August – 10.00 – 12.15 pm – More details and book here
Art of Sourdough (repeat) – Sunday 27th August – 11.00 – 1.15 pm – More details and book here
+ Nelson – Art of Sourdough – Wednesday 8th November (this will be my last workshop for 2023)

Join the Conversation

  1. Anne Graham says:

    I made you receipe Blackberry, walnut and meringue pudding with frozen mixed berries. Absolutely delicious especially loved the walnut crust. Thankyou for creating such a delicious dessert ????????. I remember Dr Galloway during my childhood in Nelson. Am assuming he’s a relation of yours as not a common surname.

    1. Hi Anne, thanks for the feedback. It is quite a special dessert. I love all the textures and flavours. I am glad you enjoyed it.
      Yes, Dr Ken Galloway was my grandad. He was well known around here.
      Happy cooking 🙂
      Nicola

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