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Apple and Blackberry Cake by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

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Apple and Blackberry Cake recipe by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, thanks to our friends at The Design Files
@juliaostro, photography Eve Wilson

I have been so excited to see all of the new season apples emerge at the market over the past few weeks. One stand had at least 7 varieties, some usually very difficult to find, and all wonderfully imperfect and still with their leaves attached, they looked beautiful. They have inspired this beautifully simple apple and blackberry cake to share with you. I adore this combination, and the dark purple fruit turns a more vibrant purple in the cake. I usually cook with granny smith apples as I love their tart flavour, but here I’ve used two different varieties – granny smiths and also a lovely pink lady. Use any variety you like, but a mix of a tart and sweeter apple is a great combination.

The warm cake is brushed with melted butter and topped with cinnamon sugar – it smells unbelievable and will be hard to resist eating it warm. I can still remember the apple cinnamon cakes my mum used to make when I was younger. She called it a tea cake, and we would have pieces of it still-warm from the oven. Heavily spiked with cinnamon, they were always delicious and so comforting. My version not only has blackberries rippled through it, but also a good dose of sour cream which gives the cake a very tender crumb. I make this cake in a stand mixer as the butter and sugar do benefit from a good beating, however, it can easily be made simply with a bowl and a wooden spoon.

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Ingredients (Serves 8-10)

200g caster sugar

200g unsalted butter, softened

3 eggs

Seeds scraped from a vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract

Zest of a lemon

200g full fat sour cream

200g self-raising flour

2 apples

125g blackberries, plus extra to serve

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Cinnamon topping

1tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2tbsp caster sugar

1tsp ground cinnamon

crème fraîche, to serve

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METHOD

Preheat oven to 180C.

Grease and line a 24cm round springform cake tin.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter for 2-3 minutes or until very fluffy and pale. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add in the vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream and continue to mix. Now tip in the flour and mix on a low speed until just combined.

Peel the apples, cut them into quarters and cut out the core. Slice the quarters into 3mm slices and gently fold into the cake, along with the blackberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and while the cake is still hot, brush the cake with the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over. Allow to cool completely in the tin (although eating it warm is lovely too) then transfer to a serving plate. Pile fresh blackberries onto the cake and serve slices with a generous dollop of crème fraîche.

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