The Nanna and Coach have gone off traveling once more. They travel every couple of months, be it to cling to the bunks of a ship in the wild Antarctic seas, or to venture all the way to London’s borough market and bring home muesli. I am a little sad, as their absence means no Nanna Day each week for the small person and no Family Dinner Night each week for all of us. I’m also a teeny bit jealous, itching to go somewhere hot and sticky, where coconuts with straws are sold from roadside carts and you can swim at dawn – when the baby wakes up – and snooze in the afternoon. But I am also a little happy, as their departure means we inherit their perishables: salty black olives, fillets of snapper, bulbs of fennel, fancy yoghurt, extra eggs and shiny, crisp Granny Smith apples.
3 small Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, quartered and finely sliced
250 grams of blackberries (frozen is fine, even preferable as they will hold their shape better during mixing)
350 grams of self-raising flour, sifted
250 grams of dark brown sugar
250 grams of natural yoghurt (or flavoured, whatever you fancy)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
125 grams of unsalted butter
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced).
Butter and line a 23cm springform tin.
In a small bowl, melt the butter and set it aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, dark brown sugar and cinnamon, whisking to break up the sugar (you could sift it, but that’s far more time consuming).
Add the apple and blackberries and stir gently. I didn’t want to make the blackberries mushy and turn the whole cake purple.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the yoghurt and melted butter, whisking to combine.
Add this mixture to the flour, sugar and fruit.
Fold gently until combined. The batter will be dense and sticky.
Scrape into your prepared tin.
Bake for 1 and 1/4 hours.
Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Lovely eaten warm and not at all bad cold either.
It’s quite a dense cake, thickly studded with the tangy, juicy berries and slivers of apple that still keep a bit of bite to them. Slightly cinnamony, but not at all overwhelming. In fact, if you love cinnamon you could add an extra half a teaspoon and be very happy. We ate it all by itself, but a big dollop of creme fraiche or real vanilla yoghurt couldn’t hurt. And needless to say, it goes very nicely with a great big mug of tea.