The beauty of hiking in Switzerland during summer is that there are always, ALWAYS, fresh wild berries ripe for harvesting. Around this time, it’s strawberries – blueberries and raspberries are often available sometime in September but with any luck, you can find some that already ripe for picking.
Being a Malaysian who never had the luxury of plucking anything other than mangoes and papayas plus an occasional rambutan, berry picking was certainly an experience. The plants themselves come in varieties of height and appearance. Blueberries are about 10 to 15 cm in height and prefer shady spots in the forest – you are more likely to see a carpet of blueberry bushes in the forest than in fields. Strawberries on the other hand prefer more light and are ground creepers. And where there is one, you’re bound to find more…
Initially, we had a good harvest of strawberries – they seem to like the rich soil of the farmland but after heading off into the forest, we discovered endless carpets of blueberries and needless to say, the bag we had was quickly filled with them.
What to do with them? Well, eating them like that was one option but Nil thought it’d be better to cook it in a tart or something…so we ended up with a simple and rather easy to prepare crumble.
Wild berry crumble
About 400gms wild berries (blueberries & strawberries)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
50 gms butter
Two large handfuls of crushed cornflakes
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar and crushed cornflakes well before rubbing the butter until a breadcrumb-like consistency is reached.
- Wash and drain the wild berries before placing it in a 6″ (or 8″) pan.
- Sprinkle and cover the berries with the crumble mixture before placing it into a preheated oven at 200 C.
- Bake for at least 20 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.
- Serve warm as it is or with a side serving of ice cream.