Claret and Gold

I am often struck by how frequently the random photos I select for a blog post seem to have the same colour scheme. Serendipitous you might say. Today my pictures are all claret and gold. The colours of late summer.

Four big jars of damson chutney.

Two new books.
Diana Henry's new book on preserving Salt Sugar Smoke. What to make first? Lime and rum marmalade, labneh, mango, passion fruit and lime jam, anchoiade, Constance Spry's chilli sherry, Zuni café's red onion pickles, blood orange curd?
Pride and Prejudice. Such a long time since I read it. This Penguin Clothbound Classic with its design of golden swans is making it even more of a joy second time round. Clothbound classics are designed by Coralie Bickford Smith. Christmas and birthdays taken care of for years to come.

Cider with blackberry liqueur. Just perfect for a late summer evening.

And lastly a cake for August. A Crumbleberry Cake

It's a simple cake which is topped with fruit and finished with a scatter of crumble before baking.

A pudding cake rather than a snack cake. Moist and luscious, we ate it with whipped cream. I used redcurrants and whitecurrants but this cake is infinitely adaptable. Use whatever is in season; currants, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, gooseberries, blueberries, rhubarb, halved plums, damsons, sliced apples, sliced peaches, even tinned fruit.

Crumbleberry Cake

For the crumble
Rub together until you have something resembling breadcrumbs.
I did this in the food processor and overdid it a bit. I nearly ended up with pastry which is why my crumble has big doughy lumps in it. The cake was none the worse for it.
60g plain flour
60g butter
Stir in
30g caster sugar
Add half a teaspoon of spice if you like. For example- cinnamon with apple or plum, ginger with currants.
Set aside while you make the cake.

Grease and base line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

Beat together until light and fluffy
250g soft butter
250g caster sugar
Beat in
4 eggs -one at a time.
Fold in
75g ground almonds
100g plain flour

Scrape into the tin and top with your chosen fruit.
I used two large handfuls of  frozen currants -enough to cover the cake batter about 1cm deep.
Sprinkle over the crumble.
Bake for 40 -60 mins at 180°c (160°c fan oven)
My cake took 60 mins because I used juicy, frozen fruit which made the cake very moist. I f you choose a dryer fruit, sliced apples for example, your cake will take less time to cook. Start testing after 40 mins by sticking a skewer into the middle. When it comes out of the cake clean it's done.



  1. Lovely colour palette you have there. That cake looks delicious and I will copy the recipe out for my recipe file so I can try it sometime soon.

  2. Thank you. That is desert for next Sunday sorted.

  3. Mmm. Methinks an imposter has been let loose on your blog. The true author would always use ounces in her recipes...
    Whatever. Sounds deeelishand I am making it tomorrow.

    1. I know, I know, but my starting point was a metric recipe.

  4. deedownunder12:39 am BST

    Thanks Sue, I will make this with the abundant strawberries we have at the moment. A winter fruit in my tropical part of the world. It will be our special dessert for the week. And, I like the metric measurements as that is what I am used to.

  5. Those cloth bound books are beautiful aren't they, they had a whole shelf full in Waterstones at Manchester when we were Christmas shopping. I decided then that they were the step forward - but I haven't bought any since, too busy buying other books.

    I must try that recipe it looks like heaven on a plate. The cider doesn't look bad either.

  6. O.K., that's it! ... I'm going to move next door so I can pop in for a tea and some of that crumbe.
    Diana from Canada :)

  7. Wow the crumble cake looks delicious. I have some fresh rhubarb that I need to use, would I cook the rhubarb before putting it on top of the cake?

    1. I'd just scatter it on the cake batter raw Faye.

  8. Love those Penguin clothbound classics. I, too, am collecting them. And my husband loves the fact that he doesn't have to think as much about what to get me for birthdays and Christmases.

  9. That cake looks truly delicious. I could eat it right now, screen and all.

  10. Love those books - Amazon have a few at a cheaper price I've just found. Have printed out the recipe to try this week-end, thanks.

    1. I got mine from Amazon, it was £8.99 but most of them are £10.49. Their rrp is £14.99.

  11. Your crumbleberry cake looks so mouthwatering!I would love to try making it. Is caster sugar just ordinary granulated sugar or is it a finer sugar? I live in Canada and I believe that we have different names for things.

    1. I, too, live in Canada and would like to know what caster sugar is.

    2. No caster sugar in Canada eh? Well I never! No it isn't granulated Lynne it is finer but nowhere near as fine as icing/powdered sugar. Try googling an image to see what it looks like. Doesn't matter anyway because granulated will work fine :-)

  12. How are you enjoying "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"? I read it in Cornwall this year along with "The Help". Both fabulous books and both very different. Just seen "The Help" on DVD. Not bad, but the book is better!
    Your crumble cake looks tempting, but I'm working on a more comfortable waistband at the moment so I won't be dwelling too long on your food photos!
    P.S. Did you see the chef-made chocolate cake I encountered on my gorgeous lake trip? You can have a look under: A Cruise on the lake! Look at it after you've eaten, otherwise you'll be getting out your cake tins and melting chocolate!

    1. I am enjoying it a lot, but have it on hold at the moment while I finish P&P.

  13. P.S.
    Thank goodness you use grams in your recipes!!! I'm quite out of practice with oz and stones! All the best cooks, including the professionals talk in grams now! England is getting there and I'm just a Brit living in a foreign place!

  14. Great recipe, easy and delicious! thank you :D


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