Sour Cherry and Gooseberry Cake



Special Equipment
One 8-inch spring-form cake pan
Parchment paper


For Batter:
1 cup flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup almond or cow’s milk (or more if your batter is stiff)
1 ¼ cups almonds, (toasting optional), ground to whatever fineness you like (not too fine, though, as the meal will get oily, and not too coarse as the nut texture will distract from the balance of flavors in the cake)
½ tsp. cinnamon or cardamom, optional

For Filling:
1 cup ripe halved gooseberries, ends snipped
1 cup pitted tart cherries
3 TB cherries-eau-de-vie liquid or kirsch
3 TB red currant jelly or tart cherry jam or gooseberry preserves
¼ tsp. cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350º. Line the bottom of the spring-form pan with parchment paper, butter and flour the pan.

Make the filling:

1.  Mix the filling ingredients together, taste, adjust seasonings, and let it sit while you are making the batter.

Make the batter:

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt (and optional spice) into a small bowl and set aside.

3.  Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy; beat in the egg.  Stir in the almonds and milk by hand and then the flour.  The mixture will be stiff, but you can add a bit more milk to make a silkier texture.

Assemble the cake:

4.  Taste the filling and add a bit more eau-de-vie to heighten the flavor if need be or add a tad more jam or jelly if it is incredibly, puckery tart.

5.  Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Cover it with the fruit filling, smoothing as you go with a spatula.  Top with the rest of the batter—if bits of the filling show through, that’s great—it will give the cake rustic character, and in my book, that’s a good thing.

6.  Place it in the oven for 30 minutes or more, until the top is firm and golden, and the sides begin to pull away from the pan.

7.  Let it cool for a few minutes before removing the pan.  Delicious hot or cold!

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