Sunday, 4 July 2010

Travellers from the North

My cousin, E, and her husband, S, live way up in the north east of Scotland so we don't see them very often; in fact only about 3 or 4 times in the last 20 years! So when they stopped over with us on their way to Spain it was reason enough to search out a dessert recipe for a celebration.

After much searching through my cookery books and favourite websites and perusing what might be available from Holly Grove's kitchen garden, I found Rachel Allen's Cherry Crumble Cake and modified it to use the berries available from the garden supplemented with some market produce.

The cake was served warm with softly whipped double cream. I'm already thinking about a rhubarb and/or apple version of this cake or what about plums?

Berry Crumble Cake

(Serves 6)
350g (12oz) ripe fresh berries (I used HG blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries)
150g (5oz) self-raising flour
pinch of ground cinnamon
50g (2oz) caster sugar
1 egg
30ml (1fl oz) milk
100g (4oz) butter, melted
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

For the crumble topping
25g (1oz) plain flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
25g (1oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) butter, cubed
20cm (8in) diameter spring-form/loose bottomed tin

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Butter the sides of the cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

Prepare the fruit removing the stalks etc. Keep the fruit whole unless the strawberries are particularly large then half or quarter them. Set the fruit aside.

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl, add the sugar, mix together and make a well in the centre. Then whisk the egg, milk and melted butter together in another bowl. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together to make a thick, smooth mixture, then spoon into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Scatter the berries over the mixture and gently press them in.

To make the crumble, put all the ingredients into a bowl. Rub in the butter to make a crumb-like mixture and scatter the topping over the berries.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes until cool enough to handle, then run a knife around the edge and remove the cake from the tin. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Lightly dust with icing sugar and serve with softly whipped double cream or creme fraiche.

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