I’ve been helping Beth pick raspberries, which she infuses in London Dry Gin to make her raspberry liqueur. This is disciplined quantity picking. There’s no wandering up and down idly picking the odd raspberry and certainly no time to take photos, but very much heads down, no eating and clean picking the row. It’s good to be back picking properly, just as we used to when we grew soft fruit here on the farm in the 1980s and 90s, with the sun on my back and a heap of containers ready to be filled.
It’s more relaxing when I pick the atumn fruiting raspberries in the garden, which are ready now even though it’s only July. I usually nip out just before meal times to pick enough to eat with cream but sometimes I’m organised enough to do something a little more imaginative like this wonderfully fruity and moist raspberry cake.
185g caster sugar
Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest & some juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon raspberry gin or vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
185g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
40g ground almonds
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
Line a loaf tin with a baking case or parchment (mine is about 22 x 11 cm) and preheat the oven to 180C.
Gently heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan until the butter has melted.
Stir in the grated zest of the lemon and orange with 60ml lemon juice (top up with orange juice if your lemon isn’t that juicy – mine never are) and then the eggs and vanilla extract/raspberry gin.
Put the flour, baking powder and ground almonds into a bowl and add the liquid from the saucepan and beat until smooth (I add the dry ingredients to the saucepan to save washing up but it sometimes takes a bit of beating to get rid of all the lumps).
You should now have a runny batter. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the loaf tin and drop 1/3 of the raspberries evenly over the top without pushing them in. Repeat twice.
Sprinkle the top with a spoonful of demerara sugar and bake in the oven for about an hour, when a skewer poked into the cake should come out clean.
Cool in the tin. Slice and enjoy.
This is also good with blackberries or blueberries and works well with fresh or frozen fruit. You can find the recipe for an iced Raspberry Loaf Cake using frozen raspberries HERE.