Monday, 10 October 2011

The Summer May Be Well and Truly Over But............

Lemon and Summer Fruit Cake

My first week of maternity leave from work has just started and I could easily get used to this lifestyle.  The kids are in the crèche, hubby is gone to work and I’ve made the decision that for all of this week I am doing the bare minimum for them and the absolute maximum for myself.  Sounds a little selfish?  It’s just that if I don’t take this time for myself, before I know it the new baby will be here, the two older kids will be at home with me too and free time will be a distant memory.  So household jobs can wait until next week (provided the new baby stays put for another while!) as I bake and read and watch TV – not very much else a heavily pregnant woman in severe discomfort can do.  Make hay while the sun shines!
I thought it time to start using some of my blueberries and raspberries from summer that I had frozen.  I found this amazing recipe in an Australian food magazine called “Australian Table” from April 2006 that my sister sent home from Australia.  I have quite a few of these magazines but I guess when time is constantly against me, I end up baking from the same books the whole time.  It’s so nice once in a while to flick through a book that’s been gathering dust for far too long.  Well, here’s my “gathering dust” recipe.  This is so unbelievably easy, it’s the baking equivalent of a “one pot wonder” in that you give all the ingredients one mix and bung the cake into the oven.  No funny ingredients either and next time I try it I’m going to try it with peaches instead of the summer fruits, I think they would go so well with the lemon.

The cake is so moist and the critics in my house are still raving about it (they can be pretty harsh critics!).

Lemon and Summer Fruit Cake (Adapted from “Australian Table” Magazine, April 2006)
300g self raising flour, sifted
295g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
180 ml milk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
130g butter, melted
200g blueberries or a combination of blueberries and raspberries.  The fruit can be frozen if that’s what you have.

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Grease a 21cm loose-based tin.
Put everything (except the fruit) in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until well combined.
Spoon into the prepared tin.  Top with half of the fruit.  Bake for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle over the remaining fruit and bake for a further 30 mins.  Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack.

This cake freezes really well, just wrap it well in parchment paper first.

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