If there's one thing I've always coveted since moving to Tasmania, it's a glut from my very own garden. You know, so much fruit that you don't know what to do with it all. You make jam, you preserve some, you eat some and you give some away, and yet there's still loads of fruit left over. Now, I can finally cross that wish off my list.
Our mulberry tree, which is six years old now, is positively groaning with dark purple fruit. Often, we hang around the tree and talk when visitors drop in, snacking away as we chat, our hands stained an inky purple. The children’s arms become splattered with ‘blood’ as they let the juice trickle down their skin and the grass below littered with purple berries. So far I've made jam, frozen some and made a cake: a mulberry tea cake, which reveals purple splotches when you cut a slice.
- 250 g (1⅔ cups) self-raising flour
- 25 g ground almonds
- 120 g unsalted butter
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 100 g Greek-style yoghurt
- 2 cups mulberries
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flours. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at the time, beating well between each one, then add the lemon zest and juice. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add one-third of the flour, then one-third of the yoghurt, repeating until all the ingredients are combined.
Spoon one-third of the cake batter into the loaf tin, then sprinkle over one-third of the mulberries. Continue layering the loaf tin with the batter and mulberries, finishing with the mulberries.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve with tea under the mulberry tree.
Recipe from Hugo and Elsa by Michelle Crawford, with photographs by Michelle Crawford.