Blueberry, peach and almond cake

A weekend with my family usually revolves around eating delicious food and lots of it! We had quite a few birthdays to celebrate so we rolled them all into one and had a huge family barbecue, to which everyone contributed something. It felt like we ended up cooking up and eating a whole farmyard’s worth of meat…I was in heaven! Once everyone had recovered from the meat fest and tucked into desert of fresh fruit brulee (a family favourite) and Granny’s summer pudding we entered the cake round…my domain. We still had a lot of the saffron clotted cream cake left but I also made Nigel Slaters ‘cake for midsummer’, which I’d ripped out of the Observer Food Monthly magazine in June and stashed in my book of ‘must bake’ recipe clippings. It goes a little something like this…

175g butter

175g golden caster sugar

200g ripe peaches

2 large eggs

175g self raising flour

100g ground almonds

1 tsp grated orange zest

a few drops of vanilla extract

150g blueberries

Line a 20cm (8 inch) cake tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

Halve, stone and chop the peaches and set aside for later.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. I used a handheld whisk. Beat the eggs in one at a time. If it looks like it’s starting to curdle add a small amount of flour.

Mix the flour with the ground almonds and fold into the butter mixture in a few batches. Add the orange zest and vanilla and last but not least, the blueberries and peaches.

Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and Nigel says to bake it for 1 hour 10 minutes. I like my cakes extra moist so after 1 hour I tested it by inserting a sharp knife into the middle of the cake and as it came out relatively clean I decided it had had long enough in the oven.

On Nigel’s advice I sprinkled the cake batter with golden caster sugar before putting it in the oven, creating a gorgeous sweet, crunchy crust on the moist, fruity almond cake.

This cake was super easy, light, tasty and I never thought I would use this word to describe a cake but it was…well…refreshing!

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