Wednesday 4 August 2010

Gooseberry and Lemon Crumble Cake

A quintessentially English treat, I absolutely love gooseberries. When I was younger J used to make gooseberry fool from the gooseberries we got from the pick-your-own, or later from our garden when our fruit bushes were established. I loved it. Gooseberries are such an English treat and one of the few things that remains truly seasonal in our calendar, so when I spied punnets of gooseberries in the local supermarket I quickly put some in my trolley, dreaming of all the things I could do with them. I had to hold myself back from buying punnets and punnets, but I was restrained ;-)

So at home I waited for inspiration to strike. And strike it did - I really fancied the combination of gooseberries and lemons (can you tell that I like my flavours sharp!?!) and then a sweet crumble topping to set it all off. I really enjoyed the texture of this peach and redcurrant cake I made recently so decided to use that recipe, and combine it with the technique I used in the blueberry and lemon cake of spreading half of the mixture into the tin before folding the fruit into the remaining half and spreading that on to try and hold the fruit in suspension better.

For the crumble I used the recipe that Suelle used on her delicious looking chocolate orange crumble cupcakes. I really loved the way that it was all clumpy rather than dusty as my usual crumble mixture tends to be if spread on cakes (on fruit for crumbles it's fine though!). This was a great idea, so thanks very much to Suelle, I'll be using that recipe again. I did scale down the recipe a little though, but the proportions are very similar.

Gooseberry and lemon crumble cake
200g self raising flour
50g fine semolina
175g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk (I used water as I was out of milk)
zest of 1 lemon
175g gooseberries, topped and tailed and cut in half

Crumble mixture
40g butter
55g plain flour
35g demarara sugar

- Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3-4. Grease and line a loose-based 20cm/8" cake tin. I've taken to lining the sides and base to try and preserve my cake tins better!
- For the crumble mixture - melt the butter and stir in the flour and sugar. Set aside until needed.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour, semolina, eggs and lemon zest. Cream until well combined.
- Add the milk and mix in well.
- Spread half of the mixture over the base of the tin. Fold the fruit into the remaining mixture and then spread this into the tin.
- Crumble the crumble mixture over the cake.
- Bake for 1hr 15 minutes until a wooden cocktail stick inserted comes out clean.

The crumble topping worked really well on this cake - there was a lovely combination of crunchy topping and soft cake. The gooseberries provided bursts of fruitiness and tartness and the lemon was more of a subtle background flavour. I'll make this again for the combination of soft, moist cake and lovely gooseberry bursts.


Katie said...

Looks gorgeous and I've not seen a gooseberry on sale for years. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled as I love them

Joanna said...

Do you think this would work with plums and lemon? It looks great but the goosies are the one fruit I can't eat :( Love the topping, it makes a good contrast of textures the way you describe it.

Caroline said...

Katie, I've seen them in both Waitrose and Tesco this year, and Sainsburys last year, but they aren't around for long at all.

Joanna - I think it would be lovely with plums, but I think I'd be tempted to drop the lemon and replace some of the flour with ground almonds. Either that or add a little almond essence/extract as I'm led to believe plums and almonds are a good combo! Or you could try plum and cinnamon - more autumnal, but then so is the weather round here at the moment!

Chele said...

Looks wonderful. I spotted gooseberries yesterday in the shops but as I've never eaten one I wasn't sure if I would liek them. I may need to go and get a punnet now so I can try this recipe!

Celia said...

Beautiful looking cake, C! We don't get gooseberries here - they're related to kiwi fruit, aren't they?

Caroline said...

Chele - I'd love to hear how you get on with them. I think they might be an acquired taste, and you might want to add some sugar to them, most people do!!!

Celia - from what Wiki is telling me, gooseberries and kiwifruit aren't related botanically, although kiwifruit used to be known as Chinese Gooseberries so perhaps that's what you're thinking of! Got to love wikipedia!!!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I haven't had nearly enough gooseberries this year! This is a lovely looking cake C.


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