Apple and Blackberry Spice Cake

Darren Purchese

Ingredients
Pastry
120g Unsalted Butter, softened
70g Caster Sugar
30g Soft Light Brown Sugar
Pinch Salt
1 Egg
300g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
Fruit Filling
4 large Pink Lady Apples
½ Vanilla Pod, Scraped
1 Lemon Juice and Zest
90g Caster Sugar
60g Blackberries, Fresh or Frozen
Salted Caramel Sauce
150g Caster Sugar
½ Vanilla Seeds
35g Unsalted Butter
100g Cream
Pinch Salt Flakes

Apple and Blackberry Spice Cake

Method
To make the pastry, cream the butter, sugars and the salt together in a food processor or electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the egg and mix well before incorporating the flour and spices. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave to rest for about 20 minutes in the fridge.
To prepare the fruit filling, peel the apples and cut them into quarters and remove the core. Cut each quarter into four pieces. Place the apples, vanilla seeds & pod, lemon juice and zest, and the sugar into a large pot or in microwave dish with a lid that allows steam to escape. Cook on high on the stove until cooked, stirring occasionally. Alternatively cook on high in the microwave for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes throughout the process to ensure even cooking. The apples are ready when they are soft but whole, leave them to cool completely before attempting the assembly of the cake.
To assemble, lightly grease the tin and preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out about 2/3 of the pastry to line the bottom of the tin; the pastry is very fragile but forgiving. You can roll it onto baking parchment and press into the tin with your fingers. Line the tin up to the sides and add the cooled filling punctuated by the blackberries. Roll the remaining pastry and lid the pie, press the edges together with your fingers and cut out apple shapes from the remaining pastry to decorate the top of the pie. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, then allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before demoulding.
To make the sauce, place a large non stick pan on a medium heat on the stove. Once the pan is warmed through add the sugar and vanilla seeds and continue to heat, move the pan to disperse the sugar evenly and use a rubber spatula to stir and dissolve the sugar cooking it to a deep amber caramel. Add the butter and remove from the heat, stir the butter into the caramel and warm the cream in a microwave or small saucepan. Once the butter has been mixed well into the caramel place the pan back onto the stove and add the warmed cream. Cook the ingredients down to a thick caramel sauce (1-2 minutes) and add the salt flakes to season. Pour into a jug and serve hot.
Slice the cake and place onto a serving dish, serve with a jug of salted caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.
Notes: Makes a 30cm X 10cm X 3cm high cake slice, alternatively it can be made in a round 18cm spring form tin.