Buckets of blackberries

Posted on: 5th September, 2016

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

Lettercollum Kitchen Project, 22, Connolly Street, Clonakilty info@lettercollum.ie www.lettercollum.ie 0238836938

This months’ recipe is a good excuse to go for a walk. The hedgerows are full of ripening blackberries and by the time you read this I imagine they will be plump and ready to go.

I have been traipsing around with my little helper trying to fill a little bucket with blackberries so that we can make blackberry and apple muffins. Each day there are more ripe blackberries than the day before and we are just getting to the stage where we find enough berries to actually arrive home with some in the bucket.

I have two good tips to aid picking. One is to go armed with a dock leaf, as there seem to be as many blasted nettles as blackberries and the other is to feed the little helpers a snack before setting out. This definitely ups the odds of arriving home with berries in the bucket.

It’s apple time too and we have a bumper harvest of apples this year so I have been playing with recipes to combine the two. One of the most successful is this ancient recipe that our neighbour cut out of a magazine and gave to my Mum when I was little. It’s so ancient that the original recipe is in pounds and ounces and uses margarine which very few people bake with anymore.

It’s one of those recipes where you don’t need many ingredients nor do you have to do a lot to make the cake. It doesn’t even need any machinery although a food processor does speed things up.

I’ve wiggled the measurements, exchanged butter for the margarine and added in some blackberries. The result got scoffed which is always a good sign!

Blackberry and Apple Cake

Ingredients:

• 450g cooking apples

• 150g blackberries

• 300g flour

• 1tsp baking powder

• pinch of salt

• 200g butter – diced

• 125g caster sugar

• 3 eggs

Method:

Pre heat the oven 180ºc. Prepare a 24cm spring form cake tin. Line the base with parchment paper.

Weigh out the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Put into a big bowl or a food processor and add the cubed butter.

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips or pulse buzz in the food processor until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. If you have used a processor now is the time to tip the mix into a bowl.

Peel and core the apples and cut into a small dice. Mix the apples and blackberries gently through the flour mix.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk together then pour into the big bowl and gently mix everything together with a metal spoon. Do not overmix. Tip into the prepared tin and gently even out the top.

Bake for 50 minutes. Poke a sharp knife into the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is ready. If the knife is sticky cook for another five minutes and try again.

Dredge the top of the cake with caster sugar whilst it is still hot.

Delicious, and the cake will keep for a couple of days in an airtight box although you’re unlikely to have that problem!

Our autumn cooking classes are kicking off soon. We’re beginning with a low GI class and a Vegan class. Check our advert for the full list and if you are interested please pop into the shop to see us, call, or send an email. We’ll be happy to help you with your enquiry.

Here’s hoping for a warm and sunny September!

Karen

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