Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adam and Eve

Naomi, Sam, My Beloved and I were walking home from a sumptuous brunch down in the village when we stopped to pick wild blackberries along the roadside. The berries are prolific this year - I suppose they enjoyed our very wet winter. Naomi had offered to make dessert for that evening's meal and, when she saw the blackberries, it was clear that she had an idea in mind.

Adam and Eve.

Intrigued by the quirky biblical reference, I asked her about it. Another dessert that Naomi's Mom taught her, this one combines apples and just about any other fruit under a layer of sponge cake. Sound good to you? It sounded like heaven to me.

And tasted pretty heavenly, too. The wild berries are very seedy but also very, very flavorful and the Gravenstein apple added its own taste and texture. The cake was light and finely spongy and just lightly sweet, more of a suggestion of sweet than an active presence. The top was golden brown and a little crisp, while the underlayer was moist and tender. One can easily see why Adam was tempted if Eve made desserts like this out of that apple.

Adam and Eve

The ingredients in this recipe are approximate - you could vary it with all apples, or more apples and fewer berries, or all berries, or whatever fresh fruit you have in mind (although you can't really call it Adam and Eve if you don't use apples). I'm already planning to use the few peaches my little tree is producing this year, along with some blackberries.

For the filling:

1 Gravenstein apple (or other baking apple), peeled and coarsely chopped, cooked for about 5-10 minutes with a little water, just to soften slightly
2 small baskets of blackberries - about two cups?
A sprinkle of sugar

For the cake batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz butter, slightly melted (1 stick)
4 oz sugar (about 1/2 cup)
Vanilla essence to taste, just a couple of drops
2 eggs, beaten with a fork

Mix all ingredients with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Butter an 8" deep casserole dish, place the fruit in the bottom and sprinkle lightly with sugar - not too much. Pour the cake batter over the fruit and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, until the batter is golden brown and has risen. Test with a toothpick or cake tester; if it comes out clean, it is ready.

Serve in bowls, scooping deeply so that each portion contains some cake and some fruit. Your teeth may turn purple but you won't care.


Blogger Greg said...

I always have been enamored by the idea of picking wild berries. We have done it on several occasions and end up with blue fingers and wounds from the thorns. This creation would make it all worth while.

Sunday, August 28, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Lovely, but I can't pick wild blackberries anymore. They spray for mosquitos in Marin, and I got sick a few years back.
Naomi is a wonder!

Sunday, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, because our town is so hilly, the berry canes arch out over the street making it (relatively) easy and scratch-free to get at the berries. Win-win.

Cookiecrumb, come over to Richmond, where we are too poor to spray for mosquitos. Probably easier to buy some organic ones from the farmer's market, huh?

Monday, August 29, 2011  

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