I am lucky enough to live right next to a very beautiful part of the Lee Valley park so when I had a hankering to go blackberry picking this weekend I didn’t have to go very far. In terms of food miles, the blackberries used in this recipe did less than one!
I should point out that I wasn’t alone in this venture and was more than ably assisted by the CCBF (Caked Crusader’s Boyfriend). All the outdoors photos used in this post were taken by him (when he should’ve been picking fruit – anything to get out of hard labour!!! But I’ll let him off as he peeled and sliced all the apples used in the cake....I’ll turn him into my commis chef yet!)
The bushes directly in the sun were abundant with big, juicy blackberries and we far exceeded the amount we needed to make two of these cakes. It was apparent that no one had been there before us – I remember when you had to time it right to ensure that the bushes had anything left to pick; now it seems like no one can be bothered, which is a shame.
Our haul of luscious berries:
Here are the two cakes ready for the oven:
For reasons I can’t quite explain, this cake tasted French to me. It’s not a spongy cake and it’s not as batter-y as, say, a Clafoutis but somewhere between the two. One thing I can say with clarity – it’s utterly delicious! There’s actually more fruit than cake and each bite is packed with flavour and texture. Very simple to make and extremely lovely to eat.
The colours of the blackberries and the apples start to merge giving a very pretty hue:
Grab a Tupperware, put on some thick trousers (those prickles snag) and get picking – with very little effort you could be enjoying this:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
284ml whipping cream
225g golden caster sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top
300g plain flour
4 bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunky slices
To serve: ice cream or thick cream
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
- Grease a 30cm x 20cm deep roasting tin with butter.
- Tip the butter and cream into a saucepan and bring slowly up to the boil. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs together until thick and fluffy. This takes a good few minutes and you’ll know when you’re there as the colour will turn pale.
- Whisk the cooled cream and butter into the egg mix.
- Sieve in the flour and fold until combined.
- Peel, core and cut the apples into wedges. Cut each quarter into three chunky slices.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and scatter over ¾ of the blackberries.
- Arrange the apple slices – you’ll need to place them compactly to get them all in.
- Scatter the remaining blackberries over the top.
- Sprinkle over two tablespoons of golden caster sugar.
- Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour until the batter is starting to pull away from the sides of the tin.
- Leave to cool then serve with either ice cream or cream.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.