The first wild blackberries are just appearing locally. They are small, as it has been dry this year, but my favourite patch is giving sweet fruit, as usual. It will be a week or so before picking huge quantities will be possible, but I picked enough for this cake, with some left over for a crumble.
250g SR flour
150g light muscavado sugar
3 tablespoons maple sugar
1 small apple (I used a Braeburn)
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 180C, and line a large loaf tin with baking paper, or prepare as usual. (I used a 2lb loaf tin which was just big enough, then noticed that a larger tin was specified in the recipe!)
Rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles bread crumbs. Remove 5 level tablespoons of this mixture into a small bowl and mix in the maple sugar. Set aside for topping.
Grate the unpeeled apple into a small bowl (not using the core), then add the eggs and maple syrup and beat lightly to break up the eggs.
Mix the baking powder into the flour mix, then mix in the egg mixture with a metal spoon until just amalgamated - do not overmix. Gently fold in 3/4 of the blackberries then transfer to the baking tin. Scatter the rest of the blackberries on top, then sprinkle over the crumb topping as evenly as possible.
Bake for 75-80 minutes or until a probe test shows it is done. It may be necessary to cover the loaf to prevent over-browning. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
The maple syrup and sugar added an extra subtle flavour, and also gave the cake a darker colour. The apple wasn't very evident in the flavour - perhaps adding a chopped apple too would improve this - but undoubtedly helped to give a moist texture. The texture is quite dense, but I feel this is necessary to support the fruit. As the cake is moist, the denseness is not a negative point. This recipe could easily be adapted for other fruit and flavour combinations.