In my memory, blackberry picking always took place in the cold on the windswept downs of the Isle of Wight. So every year I am surprised when blackberries appear in abundance in August. Luckily we have some at the end of the road so if I ever feel the need for a blackberry fix, I only have to go round the corner.
This recipe uses both blackberry jam and fresh blackberries. If you don’t have any blackberry jam it won’t take you too long to make some and if you need any tips for jam making, check out this post.
I found the inspiration for this recipe in my new favourite cookbook, the Yeo Valley Great British Farmhouse Cookbook. Contrary to my expectations, not every recipe contains yogurt. Or even dairy produce.
I adapted this recipe from the original to suit my ingredients and tin size and made a slightly smaller, but deeper, cake bar.
This is so good warm and would make a brilliant dessert with custard or your favourite alternative accompaniment, either as a bar, or baked in a deep round cake tin with a removable base, or even a pie dish with a removable base. You would just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
It is also delicious cold and makes a great picnic bar.
For the Base
150g soft butter or margarine
50g icing sugar
150g plain flour
200g blackberry jam
For the Topping:
125g butter or margarine
125g soft brown sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
175g SR flour
25g ground almonds
25g flaked almonds
Line a tin with baking parchment and set the oven to 180ºC. I used a 20x25cm roasting tin.
Cream the butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Mix in the flour and cornflour to form a soft dough.
Tip into the tin and carefully and evenly smooth over the base.
Bake for around 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make the topping.
For the topping, cream the butter and sugar together.
Beat in the lemon zest and eggs one by one.
Fold in the flour and ground almonds.
Spread the jam over the biscuit base and dollop small spoonfuls of the cake mixture over the jam.
Carefully and evenly smooth over the base.
Scatter the blackberries over the mixture and gently press them into it.
Scatter over the flaked almonds.
Bake for around 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a while in the tin before removing and leaving on a wire rack to cool fully.
Slice into bars and enjoy!