So I have been working through my to-do list and got my fruit trees pruned. I didn’t realise how big a crop there was until I actually went out searching through the grass for ends of branches.The apples were weighing the branches down to the ground on some of the trees. So even though it seemed a bit counter-intuitive, I pruned some of the trees back hard and took off a good few fruit. But then I had these big long branches full of semi-ripe apples that were a bit too sour for eating still. What to do? Stewed apple? Apple tarts? Apple crumbles?
I haven’t been getting out walking as much as I would like but when I have been out I’ve noticed the ditches along the road are brimming with blackberries. Every time the Little Paddler and I head out, I stop to sample some of them. Just to check the quality you understand. I even picked a few along the ditches of our patch. Not enough yet to make some jam. I could collect them and freeze in batches like I plan to do with the raspberries. But that’s a project off in the distance. I was looking for instant gratification. What to do? When in doubt I bake.
Apple Berry Cake
5 1/2 oz butter
11 1/4 oz caster sugar
2 duck eggs (or 3 hen eggs)
9 oz plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
2/3 cup buttermilk
4 apples, peeled and sliced
10 oz mixed berries (I used blackberries and raspberries but you could use blueberries as well)
10″ square baking dish (I used a heart shaped silicone mould because I was feeling fancy)
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and flour the baking tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one beating well after each addition. You want a lovely fluffy looking pale yellow mix that holds the pattern of the beaters.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. You’re going to fold this dry mixture into the creamed mix, but do it in stages and alternate with the buttermilk. You don’t want to over-mix. You want a smooth thick batter at the end. Spread a thin layer of this into the base of your baking tin. Then layer it with apples, overlapping the slices and laying them right out to the edge. Spoon the remaining mix over the top and smooth gently. Then scatter the berries liberally over the top of the cake.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes or so or until the top of cake springs back under the finger. Cool in the tin for half an hour before lifting out. Cut into squares.
I wish I had a picture of the finished project, but truth be told, we wolfed into it before it had cooled. It’s great with custard or ice cream and particularly good with strong coffee for breakfast. I mean, it’s got fruit so it’s healthy, right?
I have just realised that a lot of my recipes are sweet. I may have to do something a bit healthier the next time. Or maybe just go for broke and do a ridiculously chocolatey recipe instead…..