Homemade Foraged Bakewell Tart

Or as I have christened it… Nombleberry Tart! Yes, it is the very thing I love the most about autumn… even more than the crisp air, the time to get the woodburner going, the beautiful Cotswold colours, the snuggly jumpers and the potential of a new academic year… (and these are some of my favourite things in the world!). It is the best season for … you guessed it … foraging.

Truffle likes nombleberries!Foraging trail

So sad as I was to leave La Rochelle again after a week spent with my best friends there & favourite cafés, stuffing down as many patisserie delights & croissants as I could within 5 days, I was excited to go on my first dog-walk at home armed with wellies, plastic tubs & shopping bags… ready to be filled with autumn’s delights.

Baby pots for bakewells
Baby bakewell tart cases ready to be blind-baked!

My mum & I think that maybe people just don’t know that there are things that grow in the fields that you can eat! My tummy says that perhaps it’s a yummy secret best kept that way! But it would be cruel of me not to give you a little shove in the right direction.

Here’s a little mini field-guide:

Blackberries… now most people can spot these! Choose the darkest, biggest ones which fall from the stem when you pick them. My favourite fruit in the world… and you can find them all over the place!

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Elderberries… these are less well-known and the season is nearly over. So get out there now and pick them!! I’ll give you a few hints as to what you can make on the blog!

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Wild Plums… you probably ought to be careful with all fruits that you pick in the wild, make sure that you know what you’re picking. But if you know how to recognise them… you would be amazed the variety of wild plums you can find!


All of these fruits were found about half a mile from my back gate. And now… what to make them into? Well I made two things. Firstly, and you can’t go wrong with this… jam!

Easy homemade jam recipe (no thermometers needed!):

Put a saucer in the fridge (you’ll see why later!) Take a bowl of your picked fruits (I used elderberries, blackberries & plums) – mine came to about 275g with equal weights of each fruit. Put it in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan & add the same amount of sugar (i.e. 275g in this case). I used ‘preserving sugar’ – it has added pectin for your fruits to set well.

Bring to the boil, and bubble away for 3-5 minutes. When you think it’s nearly done (don’t overcook and make your fruit tasted burnt!) get a teaspoon and put a drop onto the cold saucer from the fridge. If within about 30 seconds it forms a skin/becomes thick and, well, jam-like… then you’re done. Pour the jam carefully into sterilised jam jars & seal.

Foraged jam for bakewell tart!Bakewell ready to ice
Bakewell lined with homemade foraged fruit jam/filled with bakewell mixture

I was flicking through my good food magazine and came across this delicious James Martin recipe for bakewell tart! So I decided to make a foraged-fruit version. Yum!
Nombleberry (Or Foraged Bakewell) Tart
For Mary Berry’s Pastry, you need: 
170g plain flour, 
100g cold butter, cut into cubes
25g icing sugar 1 large egg yolk 1 tbsp cold water

Combine the flour, butter & icing sugar in a bowl. Quickly, without handling much, rub into breadcrumbs (start using a knife if you prefer). Mix in the egg yolk & one tablespoon water until it comes together to make a soft dough. Press together briefly. (If it’s very soft, put in the fridge for 15 mins).
Grease a dish with butter, and roll out your pastry (sprinkle flour on your table so it doesn’t stick) quite thinly. Line the dish with pastry & prick all over with a fork. Chill for 30mins. Bake for about 20 minutes lined with baking paper (so it doesn’t burn) then cook for another 5 minutes without the paper, until golden brown & completely cooked.
Homemade bakewell tart
For James Martin-inspired Bakewell:
400g butter, 400g caster sugar, Juice & zest 1 lemon – blend all of these together thoroughly until light & fluffy. Add 2 large eggs & 1/2 tsp almond extract & whizz together until you have a smooth paste. Finally, carefully fold in 50g white breadcrumbs and 100g ground almonds by hand.
Once the tart case is cooked, spread 140g ‘nombleberry’ (or other) jam over the base and then top with the almond filling. Return tart to the oven (at about 170 degrees C) for 25 mins until the almond layer is cooked.
To Top it all Off:
Once the tart is cool, mix together 250g icing sugar with a few tbsp water to make a thick icing, and cover the tart with it. Arrange blackberries or other foraged fruit over the top and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Homemade Foraged Bakewell Tart

PS. Why Nombleberries? Well usually it’s called “Jumbleberry Jam” when you make a mixed fruit version. But we decided to come up with our own version… 🙂
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