Deep in the midst of summer, as we are, I find that when I want cake I want there to be fruit involved. When the shelves of the supermarkets and grocers are actually filled with local fruit I think it would be such a shame not to take advantage, as this is when the flavours are at their height.
Apple and blackberry is a classic combination. Here, the apple is providing a subtle background sweetness which is pierced by bites of sharp blackberry. The sponge is delicate and moist, with the crumble topping adding the contrasting crunchy texture and a gently warming spice.
Wrap this crumble cake in parchment paper, make a flask of tea, grab a blanket, call a friend and head down to the park for a casual, al fresco afternoon tea. Sounds like a dreamy afternoon to me!
Lavender smells lovely and looks totally pretty, but eating it…really? I was in a farm shop a couple of weekends ago just outside Perth, which sells all sorts of goodies for cooking and baking, when I came across a too-adorable-not-to-buy jar of lavender. I’ve also always wanted to try baking with lavender, even though after opening the jar it still reminded me of perfume.
After doing some research online I discovered that lavender goes really well with rhubarb…only one of my favourite fruits! What better vehicle for consuming rhubarb is there than crumble? That would be none, you’re dead right.
Here the lavender provides background notes of floral sweetness which mellows out the tartness of the rhubarb. The lavender is incorporated into the mix with the rhubarb and sugar, before the whole lot is topped with a simple crumble mixture flavoured with some orange zest. (Talking of oranges, I have also found out during my research that lavender goes really well with citrus and have an orangeage recipe in mind to try it out further..experimentation! )