If you want to shout autumn, then this Apple and Blackberry Crumble cake is the one to do it with. The principal ingredients are absolutely at their best in the autumn, especially if you go out and forage your own blackberries. Also, with the addition of walnuts, the cake also has a light, crunchy texture.
The cake is simple to make and serve with a cuppa, or how about a steaming hot chocolate after a long walk? And, it also makes a fabulous pudding. What is not to like about it?
for the crumble:
45 g self-raising flour
3 tablespoons jumbo rolled oats
35 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground mace
40 g unsalted
for the cake:
3 crisp apples (Cox, Braeburn, Granny Smith)
juice ½ lemon
250 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
225 g golden caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
125 g ground almonds
180 g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 g fresh blackberries
- Heat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 24 x 4cm deep square cake tin with butter and line it with baking parchment.
- Make the crumble: In a large roomy baking bowl, stir the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and mace together with a spoon. Add a tiny pinch of salt and mix again.
- Add the very cold butter and rub it together quite roughly into large buttery rubble-like chunks. Add the walnuts and mix them in without breaking up the lumps too much. Tip the mixture into a plastic tub, cover it, and put it into the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes or until frozen.
- Quarter each apple, remove the core, then cut into 3 evenly thick slices, toss in the lemon juice, and put to one side.
- In a large baking bowl, using an electric hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until whipped, light, and pale; you can do this by hand with a fork, but it will take longer. Next, whisk in the eggs one at a time; should the mixture start to curdle at any point, add a tablespoon of the flour to bring the mixture back together
- Mix the ground almonds, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder in another bowl. Then, using a large metal spoon or spatula, carefully cut and fold into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Be gentle with this process; you do not want to lose the air in the cake batter.
- Place half the mixture into the baking tin using a tablespoon, gently level the mix with the back of a spoon, then carefully lay slices of apple on the surface and gently press down a little. Repeat with the remaining cake mix and apple slices, and finish by pressing the blackberries into the surface.
- Remove the crumble from the freezer and bash it gently with the end of a rolling pin (or similar) to break it up; it should still be rubble-like. Sprinkle over the cake and bake for 50 minutes in the centre of the preheated oven or until golden brown: it is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Take the cake from the oven and let it cool in the tin for at least half an hour. Then carefully remove the cake and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche or hot, creamy custard.