BLACKBERRY AND APPLE CAKE
This is a doctored version of a rather bland recipe in the current Saveur magazine, worthy of sharing in its present form. If the blackberries are too tart, try blueberries or raspberries, and if you'd like a bit of crunch, chopped walnuts would be a nice addition. The texture is very smooth and rich, something like an English winter pudding but with a bit more chew. It's pretty straighforward and easy to make--just take care to do all the greasing and buttering of the pan called for.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more more greasing the pan
1 ½ lbs. fresh blackberries (about 6 cups)
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 fuji or gala apples, cored, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup apple brandy
2 ½ cups cake flour
2 ¼ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. un-iodized table salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¾ cup whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” springform pan with butter. Line bottom with a parchment paper circle, grease parchment. Wrap outside of pan with foil to prevent drips, set aside.
In a small bowl, toss 2 cups of the blackberries with brown sugar, set aside to macerate.
Cut each apple wuarter into 1/8” slices, toss with apple brandy in a bowl, set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, stir together milk, vanilla and lemon zest and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 15 seconds after each addition. Reduce beater speed to low and add flour and milk mixtures in thirds, beginning and ending with the flour, until just incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and gently fold in apple-brandy mixture.
Transfer batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Scatter remaining blackberries over top of the batter. Bake until golden and wooden toothpick comes out clean, about 90 minutes. Remove from oven and let cake cool in pan on a rack 30 minutes. Unmold, then cool completely.
Mash macerated blackberries through a sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds. Serve cake drizzled with blackberry juice and dolloped with whipped cream, if desired.