We Love Cooking! + [self raising flour]

:: Blackberry Crumb Slices

It's quickly becoming an annual tradition that early on a Saturday morning at the start of autumn just before the leaves fall from the trees, we take my little cousin out blackberry picking. It doesn't take too much persuading really, because at the end of our trek around the local hedgerows and fields, she always knows we'll end up cooking a whole batch of sweets and treats. Last year we spent a bumper day of cooking, which included, Blackberry Coulis, Blackberry Mess and the most amazing blackberry cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting! AMAZING!

This year it was just a big batch of blackberry jam and these really easy blackberry crumb slices.
Blackberries are most certainly not the most pretty of fruits our Irish countryside has to offer, especially when compared to our most prized summer berry the seductive and far more grown up, glamourous, strawberry. No the blackberry is a bit more like your rough and ready cousin who doesn’t bother with the latest trends and insists on wearing wooly jumpers! But despite all this, blackberries are by far the most accessible and economical of all the fruits our countryside has to offer, with bramble bushes along most road sides literally teeming with the bulging black fruit.
So if you have the time this weekend, grab a few extra hands, pull out an old basket or a bucket and get picking! I got some good advice to bring an umbrella with a hook on the end to pull down the branches- the big ones are always at the top!

Blackberry Crumb Slices
I think these blackberry crumb slices match the fruit perfectly! They are most definitely and bit more rustic looking than most cake slices, but are full of warm sponge and juicy flavours. Both the cake mix and the crumb topping are extremely easy to make and great for baking with kids!

Makes 24 delicious slices
115g butter, at room temperature
175g caster sugar
1 large free range egg
280g self raising flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
125ml milk
300g of fresh blackberries (you could use frozen if you’re stuck)

For the sweet crumb topping
115g caster sugar
85g plain flour
zest of 1 lemon
75g of butter

Preheat the oven to 190oC/Gas Mark 5.
Grease a rectangular baking tin and line it with parchment paper. If you’re stuck for parchment paper you could probably get away with greasing the tin and flouring it instead.
Using a hand mixer, in a bowl beat together the sugar and butter until pale. Add in the egg whisking to incorporate the mixture little by little.
Using a wooden spoon fold in the flour, cinnamon and milk. Mix gently until you have a sticky dough like mixture.
Spread evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking tin, this requires patience as the dough can be sticky, but bear with it you’ll get there! Then arrange the blackberries on top. Set aside while you prepare the sweet crumb topping.
Add all the ingredients for the sweet crumb topping to a bowl and rub the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips as you would with pastry. Keep mixing until you have a mixture that resembles rough breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the blackberries in the baking tray and place in the oven on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing into 24 pieces.