When the landscape is packed with autumnal colour, it is the ideal time for a fun fruit-finding expedition. Hedgerow jewels like blackberries are easy to blend with apples from a pick-your-own farm, and can create a deliciously warming dessert. Try out this child-friendly recipe that even the smallest of hands can help with.
Apple and blackberry loaf cake
250g self-raising flour
1 small eating apple
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs, beaten
1 orange, with grated zest
175g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp. demerara sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Heat the oven to gas mark 4,180C, or 160C (fan), then line and butter a 1.7 litre loaf tin. Crumb the muscovado sugar, flour and butter together. Then set aside 5 tablespoons of the mixture for the topping, adding the demerara sugar and cinnamon.
Next, grate the apple, mix with the egg and stir in the zest. Into the crumbed ingredients, put the baking powder and apple paste. Stir until lightly blended.
Wash the berries and then fold three quarters of them in, using a metal spoon, being gentle to avoid breaking them. Pour into the loaf tin and use a blunt knife to level. Then, sprinkle over the remaining blackberries and the demerara topping.
Place into the oven and bake for between 75 and 80 minutes, checking after 50 minutes. If the top starts browning before the cake is cooked, cover with foil to prevent burning. When it is baked through, the cake will feel firm to the touch, but it is best to check with a clean knife or skewer – just to make sure. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes before peeling away the baking paper and cutting into generous slices.
What are your favourite cake recipes? Are your choices influenced by the seasons?