Sunday, 29 July 2012

'U' is for....'Up the Garden' Berry Lemon Drizzle Cake

With all this rain our soft fruits are doing well, the only problem is picking....its not much fun when its wet. Dreams of harvesting under blue skies wearing a summer dress and sunhat have vanished and its mackintosh and wellies for me!!
I picked the last of our strawberries yesterday....a good yield around  40lb this year, so lots of jams, jellies and of course cakes and desserts have been made. I quite often make a berry drizzle cake for family and friends....but this 'Up the Garden' cake has been created from many special garden moments.....
Back to my Grans house....As a child I would be packed off to her house for a few weeks over the summer. She lived in a small hamlet in Wiltshire, in a typical english garden cottage, with roses round the door. all set in beautiful countryside. There was only one thing I hated, and that was the spidery outside toilet and the baths that had to be taken in an old tin bath in front of the kitchen range....and this was in the 60's !
I always enjoyed helping her in the garden digging up carrots and new potatoes, runner beans and broad beans....but when we reached the pea patch I knew I was in trouble. I had been there earlier in the morning, picked and eaten them, I can still taste the sweetness of fresh podded peas in my mouth!
Then onto fruit for pudding, like me now she would have all the summer berries, then later in the year pears, apples and plumbs. She was brilliant at preserving all the surplus, making chutneys, jams, curds, and storing the rest in the freezer. 
Plum jam was always interesting at tea time, thick homemade bread, spread with fresh butter from the local farm, with a selection of jams to help yourself to. I would spoon the jam on the side of my plate and count how many stones had come out with the jam....why she left them in I have no idea, but I enjoyed playing tinker, taylor soldier sailor...for any of you who don't know what this is you line up all the stones or pips  that you find in the fruits and counting each one saying tinker, taylor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief would supposedly tel you who you would marry! Well the predictions were not right my husband does something entirely different.
Anyway enough of my ramblings. I celebrate my Nans garden with this recipe....enjoy x


  • 175g soft butter 
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g fruits in season, washed and chopped if they are largish
  • 140g granulated sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  •  Method
  • Oven 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line   a 900g/2lb loaf tin
  • Put the butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 5 mins until pale and creamy, the mixture will be thicker than normal.
  • Spread one-third of the cake mix into the tin, then scatter over some of the fruit.
  • Spread another third of the cake mix on top, and scatter with more fruit. Finally put the rest of the cake mix over and gently spread with a spoon. Bake for 60mins h, until an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Poke the cake all over with a skewer. Put remaining 75g fruit into a bowl with the granulated sugar. Stir in 1 tbsp of the citrus juice first with a fork, mashing a little of the fruit as you go. If it's a bit dry, add a splash more juice and spoon over the cake. Leave in the tin until the cake is cool and the topping is set and good food
  • I used blackcurrants, tayberries, gooseberries and strawberries

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