I’m writing this on the Autumn Equinox when the day and night are of equal length all over the world, which has been long interpreted to mean that the world is in balance. In the northern hemisphere this is the first day of Autumn (or “Fall” in the USA).
Once the autumnal equinox passes, the nights will begin to get longer and the temperatures will start to fall. Autumn is therefore a time of dual purpose: a time to gather the harvests, but also a time to determine what will be needed for the coming Winter. So perhaps Autumn is also a time during which you can restore balance to your own life.
Keats described Autumn as “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness“. It certainly feels like that when you go outside. Here in Glastonbury, the mists are beginning to appear most mornings, giving the countryside an ethereal look, and all the apple orchards are shedding their fruit. Once they mulch into the ground a wonderful smell of cider pervades the air.
To mark this time of the year, here is another apple and blackberry recipe.
- 125g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
- 125g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 50g ground almonds
- 100g self-raising flour
- 2 Discovery, Russet or Worcester apples, peeled and cored, each cut into 12 segments
- 100g blackberries
- For the topping
- 1 large pinch cinnamon
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- 25g butter, cut into small flakes
- 25g peeled and toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
- Butter a 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
- Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy.
- Gradually pour in and beat the eggs, a little at a time, until you have used two-thirds, adding flour if it curdles.
- Fold in the remaining egg, the ground almonds and finally the flour, and combine everything gently.
- Add two-thirds of the apples to the cake mixture and all the blackberries.
- Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly.
- Scatter the remaining apples over the surface of the cake.
- For the topping, sprinkle over the cinnamon, demerara sugar and butter.
- Bake for 50-55 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and scatter on the toasted hazelnuts. When the cake is cool, dust lightly with icing sugar.
- Serve in slices, hot or cold with ice cream, custard or cream. Must admit, this is lovely when warm.