Even though it’s the cold season in Guatemala, we are lucky that we get plenty of fruit year round. The last couple of weekends, I’ve been able got get tons of blackberries, and as much as I love them in my morning yogurt with granola, I decided it was time for me to bake something. I was between this recipe and a batch of blackberry muffins that will have to wait ’till I get blueberries again.
I found this recipe for the Blackberry, Apple & Bourbon Cake browsing through Foodily, and after looking at so many recipes, this one caught my eye. Not because it paired blueberries and apples, but because the cake has liqueur in it. More specifically, the apples are soaked in it and then added to the batter. Since I didn’t have apple brandy available, I used Jack Daniel’s Honey Tennessee since it’s one of my favorites and it so happened I still have some little left. It’s delicious and I absolutely love it. If you can’t find the Honey Tennessee kind, you can use any sweet bourbon you can find, like Jim Beam White, Jack Daniels’, Maker’s Mark, Early Times, Gentleman Jack. As it turns out (now more often than before) I didn’t exactly follow the recipe to the dot. The original by Saveur asks you to make a coulis (or in other words, a blackberry mash), then strain it and then pour it over the cake when serving. As I didn’t have 6 cups of blackberries but just barely 3, I just added the sugary blackberries to the top of the cake, without the juices. And I increased the apples amount to 4 instead of 3 to balance out the lack of blackberries. And it paid off.
This cake has been a success. Dad just mentioned that after hanging out in the dinning/living room area (were I left the cake earlier that day), he just had to get a slice of it before dinner. Then had a second slice after dinner. All is good. He liked the cake. With every bite, you can taste the goodness of the bourbon and the apples, all surrounded with the cake… and the blackberries on top, are just the perfect way seal this cake with goodness.
Blackberry, Apple & Bourbon Cake
Adapted from Saveur Magazine
¾ cup softened unsalted butter
3 cups fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 apples, cored, peeled and quartered
⅓ cup bourbon or brandy
2 ½ cups cake flour*
2¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fine salt
¾ cup milk
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ springform pan with butter. Line bottom of pan with a parchment paper circle; grease paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil to prevent drips; or in my case, I just placed it in a baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss the blackberries with brown sugar; set aside to let macerate.
- Cut each apple quarter into ⅛” slices; toss with bourbon in a bowl; set aside.
- Sift together cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl; set aside.
- In another bowl, stir together milk and vanilla; set aside.
- Using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Alternately add flour and milk mixtures in thirds, beginning and ending with flour, until just incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and gently fold in the apple–bourbon mixture.
- Transfer batter to the prepared pan; spread evenly. Scatter blackberries over top of batter, without the juices. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Let cake cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes; unmold, then cool completely.
- If you don’t have cake flour, make your own: 2 ½ cups minus 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, and 5 tablespoons of cornstarch, sifted 5 times.
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