It’s that time of year again! The hedgerows are bursting with blackberries and the apple trees are laden with fruit. I’ve always loved this end of summer/beginn g of autumn period when the evenings are getting darker and the mornings just a little cooler. So long as we still have those hot days to carry me (and the crops) through I’m happy with this all too brief slice of the best of both worlds!
This recipe for Blackberry and Apple Loaf Cake is one of my mother’s and she always has one freshly baked in the kitchen at this time of year. It’s a delicious, moist loaf with a wonderful crumbly cinnamon topping that ticks all the boxes for me. The hint of orange adds a lovely depth of flavour and really brings out the best in the blackberries. The perfect pick me up with a cup of tea!
Makes 1 x 1.7l loaf
1 eating apple, grated
2 eggs, beaten
zest of 1 orange
250g self raising flour
175g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp Demerara sugar
1 tsp baking powder
200g blackberries (pick more than you think you’ll need)
1 small eating apple, sliced
– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C and line and grease a 1.7l loaf tin.
– Grate the apple into a small jug, leave the peel on but don’t use the very centre.
– Add the eggs and the orange zest to the apple and mix well.
– Using a food processor combing the flour, butter and light muscovado sugar and pulse until the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Alternately use a large mixing bowl and rub together using your hands.
-Remove 5 tbsp of the flour mixture and place in a small bowl with the Demerara sugar and the cinnamon. Mix to combine.
– Combine the liquid ingredients with the remaining dry mixture. Mix swiftly but well until you reach a dropping consistency. It may seem dry at first but trust me, it will come.
– Fold 2/3 of your blackberries into the mixture with a metal spoon, try to avoid crushing them.
– Scrape the mixture into the loaf tin and level it with the back of the spoon.
– Scatter the remaining blackberries on top and place a row of apple slices along the centre of the loaf.
– Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the top of the loaf.
– Bake for 1 1/4 hours, checking at 50mins to ensure the top is not overly browning. Cover with foil for the remaining bake time if necessary.
– Test that a skewer comes out clean and the cake is firm before removing from the oven. Leave to cool in the tin.
– Put on a pot of tea and enjoy with your feet up!