Here’s a brief rundown of where the idea, and the ingredients, for this cake came from!
We spent a very pleasant hour at the weekend, in a break between showers, ambling along a very quiet lane in the sunshine, with the kids, picking blackberries.
They were a little light on the ground (or bush…) and I’m not sure if that’s because someone got there before us and snaffled all the big ones, or whether the blackberries are a bit late this year, as there seemed to be lots still to come on the bush. The ones we found were a bit on the small side, but we still managed to amass just under a kg of blackberries-happy days!
We planted an apple tree in our garden a couple of years ago, and it has never born much fruit, but this year, it seems to be doing it’s best to make amends, and there are quite a few on there. But, they are not really shop worthy, and have more than a few blemishes, so require quite a bit in the way of prepping and each apple only yields an edible chunk or two. What is it about growing your own that makes you determined to get something vaguely edible from anything you harvest?!
My neighbours have a fabulous established pear tree, and one branch is overhanging our fence. A couple ‘fell off’ into our garden (shhhhh!) buy were still quite hard, so I needed a way to use them up.
The recipe is an adaptation of these Apricot Crumb Squares from BBC Good Food. I’ve done this recipe with plums, and rhubarb, and it suddenly occurred that it was crying out to be used with these Autumn fruits.
So enough preamble, here’s the recipe!
This is what you need:
For the topping
- 175g plain flour
- 140g light muscovado, or light brown soft, sugar
- 140g butter, softened
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the cake
- 175g butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 large free range eggs
- 175g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- combination of chopped apples and pears (don’t worry about peeling, and cut into quite small 1-2cm chunks) and blackberries
This is what you do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- Line a brownie tin-mine is about 30cmx25cm, and I use a silicon re-usable liner that has been cut to size
- Make the topping first-I use my free standing mixer. Chuck all the topping ingredients in and mix slowly until it makes a sticky crumble. Don’t overmix, or you end up creaming the butter and sugar together. Decant this into a bowl and put aside to top the cake in a moment
- For the cake, put everything except the milk and the fruit into the mixer bowl (I don’t bother washing it up from mixing the crumble topping) and mix on medium speed until it’s all combined and looks like cake mix! Add 2-3 tbsps milk until you get a ‘dropping consistency’
- Scoop the cake mix into the prepared tin, and smooth it out. Top with the fruit-I did a thin layer of apples and pears first, and then piled blackberries on top
- Top with the crumble mix and press down to compress it all
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes
- Allow to cool, or eat warm with custard 🙂