Pickled blackberries with geranium and lemon verbena

I don’t know about you but I’ve been really craving cheese recently.

I think it’s probably the change in season and the prospect of cooler climes that’s making me turn my attention to fattier, richer foods.. or perhaps that’s a conveniently timed excuse now that swimming cozis and beach attire have been put away for the year.. either way, all that delicious cheese on my plate needs a sharp little friend to balance it out. These super quick pickled blackberries do just the trick. Made in minutes with a 3:2:1 ratio of fruit to sugar and vinegar, it’s a lovely thing to make your own with other soft berries and flavourings – I’ve used some scented geranium leaves and lemon verbena which work wonderfully together, but, try out other herbs; lemon thyme, bay leaves, lavender and spices; juniper berries, cinnamon sticks…


300g blackberries

200g unrefined sugar

100ml white wine vinegar

2 small scented geranium leaves

1 small sprig of around 6-8 lemon verbena leaves


Rinse and pick over the blackberries throwing any leaves and any that are falling apart.
In a pan melt the sugar in the vinegar and add bring to a boil.
Throw in the blackberries and bring back to the boil for a couple of minutes to release their juices but not fall apart in the syrup.
Remove the blackberries with a slotted spoon and place into a sterilised jar.
Place the geranium and lemon verbena leaves in the jar with the blackberries.
Boil down the syrup until it’s reduced by around a third and then pour the syrup over the fruit and leaves.
Close the lid of your jar and leave to cool.
Store in a cool dry place – the pickled blackberries will be ready after about a month.
Serve with cheese (soft goats and sheeps cheeses are my favourite) and walnuts.
Also great with fatty roast meats.

Louisa Chapman-Andrews
Cook Folk

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