This apple blackberry cake is inspired by a recipe from an Irish Pub cookbook I bought one time I visited Dublin. I bought the book for only 5 Euros, and it was well worth the money, because it is the cookbook in my collection that I have used the most. As I often do with recipes I come across, I’ve ended up making my own version of the cake with an added twist of blackberries. However, the blackberries can easily be left out, if you’re not a fan. I have often made this apple blackberry cake for when my mother-in-law comes over for tea, so for me it is a real tea time cake. I usually serve it with whipped cream on the side or sour cream (not the low-fat kind), but I’m sure a scoop of good vanilla ice cream would make a nice partner too.
If, like me, you love blackberries this is the perfect time of year to make this cake as it’s the height of blackberry season. In fact, for this apple blackberry cake that you see in the picture, I was fortunate enough to harvest a whole gorgeous heap while taking a walk in the forest by the sea at my fellow Gourmandine’s summer house. Though quite a few berries were gobbled down on the way home, I managed to save just enough for my cake! There is something very basically satisfying about using ingredients you’ve foraged yourself, and what a shame and waste it would have been if all these wonderful berries had not been put to such good use.
1 lb (½ kg) cooking apples peeled, core removed and thinly sliced
3-4 oz (about 100 g) blackberries
5 oz (160 g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 oz (115 g) butter
4 oz (115 g) caster sugar
Milk if needed (any kind will do)
For the topping
3 ½ oz (100 g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 oz (85 g) butter
3 oz (85 g) caster sugar
Icing sugar to dust on top
Optional: Whipped cream, sour cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
1. Start by making the topping. Sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt into a bowl and then add the butter. Mash and crumble the butter into the flour till it looks like breadcrumbs, and then add the sugar and mix it all loosely together so you don’t lose the texture. Set the mixture aside in the fridge for later use.
2. Now make the mixture for the cake base by fist whisking butter and sugar together in another bowl with an electric mixer till it’s smooth and light. Add one egg and sift in ¼ of the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the last egg and sift in another ¼ of the flour mixture together with the salt. Now carefully fold in the rest of the flour mixture. You can add 2 tbsp of milk at this stage if you find the mixture is too thick. Now turn on the oven to 350 F (180 C).
3. Add the cake mixture to a greased, round 8 ½ inch (22 cm) baking tin. Arrange the apple slices on top and the blackberries. Finish off by sprinkling the topping on top. Bake the cake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. The cake is done when it’s firm to the touch and golden brown on top. Leave to cool and then sift a little icing sugar on top before serving, and maybe decorate with a few extra berries.
In the mood for more cake? Here are a couple of favorites: