I made my second batch of gorgeous blackberry jam over the weekend but I am still itching to pick more blackberries. The weather has been lovely over the past few weeks and a whole new crop of blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows. I am so lucky to have them on my doorstep – I couldn’t believe that a small punnet of blackberries is selling for almost €4 in the shops. Maybe I should get out and sell some myself! But then, I would miss the pleasure of using them in making delicious treats such as this blackberry and apple loaf.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C. Butter and line the bottom of a 1.7 litre loaf tin (see tip below). In a large bowl, rub the flour, butter and muscovado sugar together with your fingers to make fine crumbs. Measure out 5 level tbsp of this mixture into a small bowl for the topping, and mix in to it the cinnamon and demerara sugar. Set aside.
- Coarsely grate the apple down to the core and mix in with the eggs and the zest. Stir the baking powder into the rubbed-in mixture in the large bowl, then quickly and lightly stir in the egg mixture until it drops lightly from the spoon. Don’t overmix.
- Gently fold in three quarters of the berries with a metal spoon, trying not to break them up. Spoon into the tin and level. Scatter the rest of the berries on top. Sprinkle over the topping and bake for 1¼ -1 hour 20 minutes. Check after 50 minutes and cover loosely with foil if it is browning too much. When done the cake will feel firm, but test with a skewer.
- Leave in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out, then cool on a wire rack. Peel off the paper before cutting. Will keep wrapped in foil or in a tin for up to 2 days.