Pairing fruit with herbs is one of my not-so-secret weapons, and today’s combination is one of my favorites. Sweet blackberries cook to jammy, while sage-flecked crumble adds fragrant, earthy warmth. A good buttery base is essential for any crumble bar, so cook it before adding the fruit to avoid a soggy bottom. I like to think of them as a farewell to summer and a welcome to fall.
Blackberry and sage crumble bars
Preparation 30 minutes
To cook 1 hour
Coldness 2 hours +
For the crumble (base and garnish)
300g plain flour
70g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
220 g cold salted butterdiced
8-10 sage leavesfinely chopped
350g fresh blackberries
45g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
Juice of ½ lemon
Line a 20cm x 20cm mold with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to be able to take it out later.
Put the flour, both sugars and rolled oats in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the dry ingredients until everything looks like coarse crumbs. Pour three quarters of the mixture into the lined pan and press down evenly. Add the sage to the remaining crumble mixture in the bowl and use your fingers to stir until it begins to clump together. Refrigerate base and filling for 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/Gas 5, then bake the cooled base for 20 minutes, until it just seems set and the edges begin to brown. Remove and let cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
Put the blackberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour over the cooked base, then top with the rest of the sage crumble mixture. Bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the fruit is soft and jammy. Remove and let cool completely for a few hours before slicing and serving.