Apples and blackberries make the perfect bedfellows, their balance of sweet and tartness, the melding of textures and their both being familiar childhood favourites all makes them a successful partnership. You can use them together in most sweet baking; they work brilliantly as a simple crumble, a little cinnamon adding to their flavour. They work beautifully in a hearty fruit sponge, perfect for a weekend pudding. They can add a little perk to a blitzed juice or smoothie – fresh ginger and frozen pears making an equally pleasing addition. You can compote them and add them to your favourite granola or serve with homemade ice cream for a movie night treat. There are literally a myriad of options but each one serves to confirm that apples and blackberries are meant to be together. Sadly, this year’s supply of blackberries were a little lacking, so, as a greedy forager should, I picked what I could and froze them ready to use for just such an occasion as this. (It’s worth noting that you can buy bags of frozen blackberries in the supermarket that would work perfectly for this and any of the above recipes.)
Every once in a while it’s good to have something unashamedly sweet and decadent, and this traybake is definitely both. Here, the sweetness of the apple puree in the sponge of the bake sits comfortably with the hint of tartness from the blackberries. I warn you now; it’s very sweet and with a warming caramel aftertaste and a light fruity hit. You can serve it either as a pudding or an afternoon treat – the former being best offered warm with homemade custard for a homely finish, or the latter left to cool and offered up with a cup of tea. It’s comforting stuff, indeed, and rather suited to the current mizzle that’s falling outside of my window while the autumn leaves of gold and red blow in the wind. Enjoy.
BLACKBERRY AND APPLE TRAYBAKE
Makes 12 squares
You will need a 7 inch square baking tin for this recipe
200g golden caster sugar
100g apple puree
125ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g gluten free self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 small eating apple
75g blackberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat the oven to 180c and lightly grease and line the baking tin.
Place the apple puree, sugar, oil and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth and combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture until you have a smooth and thick batter.
Spoon the batter into the baking tin and smooth into the corners, levelling the top with the back of a spoon. Peel and core the apple and slice into thin wedges. Scatter the apple segments and blackberries evenly over the surface of the bake and, using your fingertips, gently press the fruit down into the batter a little. Bake for 45 minutes until golden and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and either serve warm with custard or leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares.