Here’s a quick and delicious fresh fruit cake for you to try. I think of it as rather a traditional recipe – I’ve retrieved it from the notebook of recipes my mum collected together, and I remember it being a family favourite when I was kid. There are no fancy ingredients – it’s the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk and fruit type recipe that I still think can’t be beaten.
It’s completely delicious as a sweet treat that you’d have on the tea table with a lovely cuppa, but you can also serve it warm with cream or crème fraîche. The base of the cake is rather like a rich sweet scone (the British version!) than a sponge, so it doesn’t keep terribly well. If you won’t get through it all on the day that you make it, I would pop it in the freezer for a time when you need a treat.
It’s a very practical cake recipe because it starts with store-cupboard ingredients and you can use up whatever soft fruit you have lying around, as long as you have around 250g in total. I had a couple of slightly wrinkly peaches and a handful of raspberries that needed eating up, so went with that fantastic fruit combination, but cherries, blueberries, loganberries, tayberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, nectarines and strawberries are definitely all options.
Peach and Raspberry Traybake Cake
- 150g self raising flour – I use 50/50 wholemeal and white. If you don’t have SR flour you can add 2 level teaspoons of baking powder to 140g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 60g butter, from the fridge, cut into small pieces
- 50g granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 2 peaches peeled, stoned and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 100g raspberries, prepared and washed
- Heat oven to 190C (180C fan), Gas 5.
- Line a 18cm square (7 inch square) loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Grease the tin a bit so that the baking parchment won’t move around when you put the mix in the tin later.
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the butter (in small pieces). Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips – or you can use a food processor or mixer of course.
- Stir in the sugar, then take out 2 tbsps of the flour/butter/sugar mixture and set aside to use later.
- Stir the beaten egg and milk into the remaining flour and sugar mixture. It should be the consistency of very thick sponge mix or very wet scone mix!
- Spread the mixture into the tin, making the centre slightly indented so that it doesn’t rise too much in the middle when baking.
- Sprinkle the fruit over the base mixture, followed by the reserved crumble mix.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is light golden and the cake is slightly risen. You can test the middle of the cake with a skewer – if it comes out clean of dough, then the cake is cooked.
- Cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
- Serve warm with softly whipped cream or crème fraîche, or cold with a cuppa..
Since I rediscovered this method of making no-churn ice cream a few weeks back, I have been having so much fun experimenting with different flavours. I hope you aren’t fed up with ice cream recip…. hang on, how would that even be a thing? So here’s another ice cream recipe….
The only slightly tricky and slightly time-consuming aspect of this recipe is making your own gooseberry curd. But, you know, you could just buy a jar of curd (lemon or lime if you can’t find the gooseberry kind) and you have a super-fast dessert all sorted (apart from having to leave it in the freezer overnight of course – do allow time for that!).
This recipe contains eggs that are not completely cooked so should not be given to anyone who needs to avoid raw eggs.
For the curd:
500g green gooseberries
50g butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten, and sieved to remove all the yucky bits
For the ice cream:
400g of the gooseberry curd
200ml condensed milk
500ml double cream
You will need a shallow freezer container with a lid – mine is about 11 inches by 6 inches and is about 3 inches deep, and is absolutely ideal. If you don’t have one that is this shallow, don’t worry too much, the ice cream will just take a little longer to freeze.
You need to use 400g of the gooseberry curd in the ice cream, and you will have more than that – just pop the leftovers into a jar or plastic container – it will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. It is fantastic on toast, buns or scones, or you can spoon a bit extra on to your ice cream.
- Put the gooseberries in a pan with a tablespoon of water (don’t bother to top and tail the gooseberries), bring to a simmer and then cook very gently until the gooseberries are very soft.
- Press the cooked gooseberries through a sieve to remove seeds and bits of flower and stalk.
- Put the gooseberry purée into a heatproof bowl balanced over a pan of gently simmering water. Make sure that the bowl of purée does not come into contact with the water. The aim here is to heat the purée incredibly gently.
- Add the sugar to the purée and stir until dissolved, and then add the butter, bit by bit.
- Add the beaten egg, little by little, stirring all the time.
- Heat gently, stirring very frequently, until the purée has thickened. This takes around 20-25 minutes. The curd will not get terribly thick – you will be able to tell it is ready when the trail left in the curd by the spoon is visible for a couple of seconds. You can also put half a teaspoon of the purée on a cold plate (have a plate ready in the freezer) – if you draw your finger through the purée and it stay fairly permanently in two halves, the curd is ready.
- Chill the purée in the fridge.
- Beat the cream and condensed milk together in a large bowl and chill in the fridge – if you can power up your fridge a bit, do it now!
- After all the ingredients are really cold, whip the cream and condensed milk mixture until it holds very soft peaks.
- Dollop about a third of the cream mixture into the freezer container, and then dot spoonfuls of the curd around the mixture (use about 1/3 of the curd), and swirl it in a bit with a fork (but don’t over mix). Continue with a 2 more layers of the cream mixture and curd.
- Pop into the freezer for at least 6-8 hours. Remove from the freezer for at least 20 minutes to soften a bit before serving.
We enjoyed it with extra gooseberry curd and a little bit of crumbled meringue for crunch purposes. By the way, if you have a lot of gooseberries available to you, I have a recipe for larger quantities of green gooseberry curd right here.
For more recipes do visit my directory of Very Berry recipes.
Soft fruit season is here – we have strawberries, gooseberries and loganberries in the garden. But for some reason (um, 28C outside maybe), I haven’t exactly felt like making jam or doing any baking. So ice cream and sorbet have seemed like a more attractive option as we cast round for a bit of coolness and refreshment (so not used to this heat – don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of sun, but just now and then a cooling breeze would be nice!). Strawberry sorbet was a huge hit – a gorgeous flavour and so easy to make. Before and after:
Today I used the first of our loganberries to make a really simple loganberry yogurt ice. Totally delicious so I thought I’d share the recipe… It is certainly very pink…!
Loganberry Yogurt Ice
200g prepared loganberries (or you could use raspberries or strawberries)
100g caster sugar
450ml natural yogurt
1) Rub the loganberries through a sieve, or process them in a blender then strain, to create a smooth pureé.
2) Stir in the sugar and yogurt and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. <
3) Freeze churn in your ice cream maker until it is very thick and creamy and then transfer to a freezer box.
4) Alternatively pour the mixture into a shallow freezer tray and put in the coldest part of your freezer, whisk 2 or 3 times in the couple of hours that this takes to freeze.
And it’s as simple as that. This makes a quite a tart ice-cream that I find really delicious, but you might want to add another 20-30g of sugar if you are using slightly underripe fruit or you have a sweet tooth!
I have made a little bit of jam, on a slightly cooler evening last week . I really recommend this fab recipe for strawberry and rhubarb jam. Fab because it tastes amazing, is very quick and easy, and the addition of lemon juice and rhubarb means that you get a very good strawberry-flavoured jam that sets reliably. Here is is on my bread roll this morning (recipe for the roll is just here by the way):
Oooh, I could eat that again right now…
Tomorrow we are having gooseberry sorbet after our Sunday lunch and hopefully celebrating an England win in the cricket. Hope you have similar treats in store for your Sunday…