Summer fruit drizzle cake

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It seems a little ironic writing this post for a Summer fruit drizzle cake when today has been decidedly autumnal. Yesterday we picked up some cheap strawberries and I decided after months of not having the time to bake anything it really was time to get back in the kitchen. The summer holidays used to be all about baking but these days they are all about play dates and keeping two energetic 18-month olds entertained! After a quick Google I did consider making this strawberry drizzle cake but had seen this BBC Good Food magazine recipe before and thought it be a good opportunity to use up some raspberries and blackberries that were in the freezer too.
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Blackberry and apple loaf cake

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I had a bit of a baking spurt towards the end of last week starting with this blackberry and apple loaf cake. Mr Birdie’s mum and dad came to stay a couple of weeks ago and we ventured out for a walk through our local countryside to the beach (stopping for coffee and cake of course). I managed to probably double the length of time we took by stopping to pick blackberries. I was surprised to find so many that were still pickable (is that even a word? If not it should be!) I did consider this Bramley and blackberry traybake but we are still (yes still!) without a hob so instead I opted for this Jo Wheatley recipe which is in her ‘A Passion for Baking’ book.
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Blackberry jam crumble shortbreads

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I received John Whaite’s ‘John Whaite Bakes At Home’ for my birthday in August and until recently had not had the chance to try out any of the recipes. One of the recipes that had caught my eye was this blackberry jam crumble shortbread recipe. I love blackberry recipes and have been disappointed that I’ve been so busy that I’ve not been able to try anymore recipes other than this recipe and the autumn traybake I made back in August.
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Autumn Traybake

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I made this a few weeks ago back in August when it was feeling decidely autumnal as there was a chill in the air and the sun seemed to have disappeared. This is one of my favourite times of year as it’s blackberry season. Last year I made blackberry and apple crumble muffins, a blackberry and apple crumble and a mixed berry plaited pie using blackberries and I intend on making quite a few blackberry based recipes again this year. A really good tip I read recently for when you’re out and about collecting blackberries is to take an empty milk bottle with you to collect them as this has a handle which is useful for carrying if you’re picking when you’re on a walk. I’ll definitely be trying this out this weekend!
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Blackberry and apple crumble

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Autumn has well and truly arrived. The weather on Sunday was horrible and it was decided in the Little Birdie household that it was most definitely crumble weather.

It was a proud day as it was the first time we picked apples from our apple tree to use in the crumble. It has been in the garden for just over a year and was only a cheap tree from Aldi so we have been impressed that anything has grown. The blackberries were also freshly picked from just behind our house so the filling came from less than 20 metres from our kitchen – an impressive feat!  We are disappointed that we will have to leave it when we move house this week.

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe from his ‘The Naked Chef’ book. It is my go to crumble recipe that always goes down well. You can use any fruit or combination of fruit that you want. Apples, pears, berries, plums, peaches, rhubarb – the possibilities are endless.
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Mixed Berry Plaited Pie

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I will start today’s post with a confession. I am a hoarder. I find it difficult to throw things away. In the process of moving I have had to address this (well I like to think I have addressed it!) Whilst packing I have had to sort through many food magazines. At various points over the last few years I have had subscriptions to Delicious, Good Food and Olive and had kept them all. My husband was not going to let me pack up and move boxes of magazines but I didn’t want to throw them away. The solution to my reluctance to throw these away – to rip out all the recipes I liked the look of or thought I might like to make one day in the future. I now have a lever arch folder fit to burst with recipes. It was when I was ripping and filing that I spotted this recipe. I am a bit obsessed with blackberry recipes at the moment and this not only contained blackberries but also looked pretty impressive.

This is an Olive recipe that you can find on the BBC Good Food website here. It is a cross between a pie (it has a pastry base and pastry twists on top) and a cake. It is very easy to prepare as you make both the base and filling in a food processor (I didn’t even bother washing it out!)
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Blackberry and apple crumble muffins

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The end of summer is fast approaching and autumn is in sight. The days are getting shorter, the summer holidays are nearly over (to the delight of parents and the despair of teachers) and blackberries are appearing. I spent Sunday afternoon wondering around the local area picking blackberries to use in my latest baking adventure. After trawling the Internet I found many options: blackberry and almond meringue cakeblackberry sourdough sconesblackberry and apple muffins and even bramble marshmallows. In the end I opted for a recipe from the Delicious Magazine website for blackberry and apple crumble muffins which you can find here.

The recipe works well and produces muffins that are moist. I particularly like the bursts of bright purple created by the blackberries. If I was to make these again I would cut the chunks of apple a little smaller and possibly use a dessert apple instead to add a little more sweetness.

The recipe makes 12 muffins and you will need a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.
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