Cherry and Almond Crumble Cake

Serves: 8-10

You will need

For the shortbread base

125g plain flour
100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for greasing
40g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cherry jam

For the crumble topping

40g flaked almonds
50g soft light brown sugar
40g plain flour
25g unsalted butter, melted

For the cake

125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon finely grated unwaxed lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
100g ground almonds
75g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons soured cream
350g cherries, stoned


Equipment

20cm springform cake tin



Directions

1 Preheat the oven to 180¼C/gas mark 4. Grease the cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

2 Prepare the shortbread base first. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, butter, icing sugar and salt until the butter has been rubbed into the flour. Tip into the prepared tin and press into an even layer covering the base. If your jam is a tad chunky, give it a quick whizz in the food processor to break up any large bits.

3 Bake the shortbread on the middle shelf of the oven for 12 minutes until pale golden. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
Place the dry ingredients for the crumble topping in a bowl and stir in the melted butter with your fingertips until the mixture starts to clump together.

4 Now for the cake. Cream the butter and sugar until really pale and light. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula from time to time. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract and mix again. Sift in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, then add the soured cream and mix again.

5 Spread the jam evenly over the shortbread, but leaving a 1cm border around the edge, otherwise it will burn on the sides of the tin. Spoon over the cake mixture and spread level, arrange the cherries on top and scatter with the crumble. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes–1 hour until golden brown, well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

6 Loosely cover the top with baking parchment if it appears to be browning too quickly.

7 Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then run a palette knife around the edge to loosen the sides, remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

Summer Berries and Autumn Fruit by Annie Rigg. Published by Kyle Books, priced £19.99.
Photography by Tara Fisher.



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