No, I am not talking about that kind of “fruitcake” – you know, the one that makes it appearance very Christmas and has it’s own cult following (www.fruitcakerescue.com). No this one is infinitely better. A little sweet, a little buttery.. the perfect base to showcase the bounty of summer fruit. (It’s also a great way to use up that fruit if you ahem went overboard at last weekend’s farmers market). The basic recipe works with almost any fruit – here I have made it with fresh blackberries and raspberries but you can also make it with apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums or apples. Terrific plain, it’s also good with a little whipped cream or ice cream. The beauty of it is that it can be made pretty much on the spur of the moment – it only requires basic pantry ingredients. Of course, you can “gussy it up” by adding spices, soaking the fruit in liqueur or wine or even adding nuts. Although I usually serve this as a dessert, I have been told by certain members of my household (who shall remain nameless) that it also makes a terrific breakfast cake (which explain why there are no pictures of the nectarine cake!)
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 Tbsp. port or Chambord
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine berries, port and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a medium sized bowl and toss gently to combine. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the butter with the 3/4 cup sugar until mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each egg. At low speed, slowly add flour mixture and mix just until combined, do not overmix! Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of the pan and then, using a slotted spoon, spoon berries on top of cake batter, spreading evenly. Drizzle remaining port on top of berries. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until cake is nicely browned. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Using a thin bladed knife, run knife around outside of cake to loosen it and remove cake rim. Slice and serve!
For a Nectarine cake, substitute 2 large nectarines for the berries.
Omit the port and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. almond extract to cake batter.
Place nectarines in a decorative pattern on top of cake before baking and dust with 1 Tbsp. demerara, brown or white sugar.
For a printable version of this recipe go to Berry Cake