September 29, 2019


As well as the gorgeous yellow St Catherine plums from our plum trees, the other week I ended up with a pound or so of blackberries.  We were out walking our dog Hugo and there they were.  We couldn't resist.  Apart from anything else, the blackberry harvest has not been great in our part of France due to the extended drought and reasonably plump ones were scarce.  These were not huge but quite tasty.

There were not enough blackberries to make a blackberry crumble and I didn't think I should go out and buy apples as I had all the plums to use up.  Pondering what I could make with the combination I remembered the Bill Grainger recipe for peach and raspberry slice which you can see here.  I had used it several times to make an apricot and blueberry slice which you can see here and I saw no reason why a plum and blackberry combination shouldn't work just as well.
I adapted the original recipe to try to counter the very moistness of the plums and hopefully produce a less soggy cake - more like a cake than a pudding in fact.  It worked.  It was delicious either warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cold with a cup of tea or coffee. 
185g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder plus an extra ½ tsp
125g butter, chilled and diced
100g soft brown sugar 
100g caster sugar
300g approx. plums, halved and stoned - prepare enough fruit to almost cover the area of the tin
a handful of blackberries, picked over, washed and dried
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
150 ml milk
Grease and line the base of a 24cm square baking tin.  Preheat the oven to 180C / 160 fan / gas mk4. 
Sift the flour and 1½ tsp baking powder into a food processor with the butter.  Blitz for a few seconds to make crumbs.  Add the sugars and blitz again to mix.
Tip half of the crumbs (I did actually weigh mine) into the prepared tin and press over the base.  Scatter the fruit evenly over the top. 
Add the vanilla, egg, milk and the other ½ tsp baking powder to the food processor and process to make a batter.  Pour this over the fruit and bake for about an hour until golden brown.  Cool in the tin.
Cuts into about 15 slices.  

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