Monday, 12 May 2008
A Hotch Potch
BLACKBERRY AND APPLE-UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
This is a tasty variation on the pineapple upside-down cake of my childhood. I am still using up last year's excellent picking of blackberries from the freezer . . .
25 g/1 oz butter
2 level tablespoons clear honey
2 large Cox's or other firm eating apples
125g/4 oz butter or margarine
125g/4 oz caster or soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
125g/4 oz white or wholemeal S-R flour
2 tspn ground cinnamon
About 1 tblspon cold water
Pre-heat oven to 180 deg. C (350 deg. F, gas mark 4).
Mix the o z (2 tablespoons) of butter with the honey and spread over the base of a 20cm (8") round cake tin which is at least 5cm (2") deep. Peel and core and roughly chop the apples into small cubes. Arrange them with the blackberries over the honey/sugar base in the tin.
Cream the remaining quantity of fat with the sugar until it is light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Sieve the cinnamon with the flour and fold very gently into the creamed mixture. Stir in sufficient water to make a soft dropping consistency, then cover the fruit evenly with the cake mixture. Bake near the top of a moderate oven for about 30 mins, or until well risen and golden brown.
Remove from oven and leave in cake tin for a few minutes to cool down, then turn out onto a warm serving plate. Leave the tin on top for a few minutes to allow all the juices to run down into the sponge, then remove. Serve warm with cream, yoghurt (or best still - ice cream!) Serves 6.
Variations (raspberry and apple; raspberry and pear,; blackberry and pear; rhubarb and apple, or whatever you concoct).
Recipe taken from The Beatrix Potter Country Cooking Book by Sara Paston-Williams.
I also made about 6 lbs Lemon Marmalade (and one pot with preserved ginger in, for a recipe which called for it). I had a tin of Mamade fruit base for marmalade in the cupboard - basically all you do is add water and sugar, and there are no preservatives in the tinned fruit either. It set beautifully, and none of the hours of chopping peel up! We don't eat Marmalade so these are for gifts.
These are a batch of Cornish Fairings I made, and which my son heartily approved of. Here's the recipe from Mary Norwak's The Country Kitchen:
4 oz plain flour and a pinch of salt
1/4 tspn each of cinnamon, ground ginger and mixed spice
1 1/2 tspns bicarbonate of soda
2 oz butter
2 oz caster sgugar
2 1/2 level tablespoons golden syrup
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and rub the butter into them. Mix in the sugar. Melt the syrup and stir it into the mixture to make a soft dough. Roll the mixture between the hands into small bowls the size of marbles and place on greased baking trays with space between them to allow them to spread. Bake the fairings at 350 deg. F (180 deg. C/Gas Mark 4) for ten minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and hit on a solid surface to make the fairings crack and spread. Then put them back into the oven for another five mins to finish baking.
As a result of my visit to Dymock the previous weekend, a friend recommended Helen Thomas' book which she wrote following her nervous breakdown when her husband (poet Edward Thomas) died at the battle of Arras, 9th April 1917. The temptations of Amazon one-click . . .
Another Amazon moment. I wanted one good book on basket making and these utilise basketmaking materials from woodland and hedgerow. Only trouble is, I have to wait until Autumn to start laying down my basketmaking "stash"!