The hedgerows where I live are full of ripe blackberries at the moment and I have discovered new places to pick them not too far from home. I didn’t manage to do any fruit picking this year as I found myself overwhelmed by work and moving house, amongst other things, and my jam cupboard is looking very sorry for itself. I find fruit picking very therapeutic and having missed out on picking raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries and gooseberries, am taking the opportunity to pick blackberries whenever I can.
Apart from blackberry jam and vodka, there are only so many apple and blackberry crumbles you can make so I have been looking for other ideas. Polenta cake makes a refreshing change from a Victoria sponge and the addition of lime and blackberries adds a subtle flavour. It is also gluten-free.
It’s a very easy recipe and I love the way the cake looks: rustic and sophisticated all at the same time, somehow. I made mine without any baking powder as I think it should be a dense cake: it gets enough rise from the eggs and creaming the butter and sugar together. Baking powder would give it more the texture of a sponge and that wasn’t what I was looking for. This makes a shallow 8″ cake.
125g ground almonds
Zest and juice of a lime
Grease, and line the base of, an 8″ loose-based cake tin. Set the oven to 180ºC.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well.
Add the zest and juice of the lime and mix again.
Fold in the flour and polenta and make sure it is all well combined.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and gently level.
Sprinkle the blackberries over the top.
Bake for around 30-40 minutes, until the cake is risen and brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for a while:
Carefully remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.