Last time I visited New York, the final sweet days of Summer were upon us, and every
restaurant had a “[citrus] pound cake + [seasonal fruit] compote + [thick dairy product]”
on the menu. This is a result of fond memories and cheap blackberries.
Recipe loosely based on Cooking on the Side’s PB&J pound cake (and all those NYC desserts).
2 cups plain flour
1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 large egg whites (keep the yolks and use them for ice-cream, or some other custard-based dessert)
3/4 cup milk (skim works just fine)
160 grams butter, softened
1 + 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
zest of 1 or 2 lemons
2 punnets of blackberries (or other Summer berries)
1/3 cup of caster sugar
1 tbs cornflour
Whipped (or double) cream, or thick yoghurt — to serve
- Preheat the oven to 155º C and butter a 2L square Pyrex baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk (with a fork will suffice). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment, if you have one) or a large bowl with hand beaters, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Reduce speed to slow. Add a bit of the flour mixture and a bit of the milk/egg mixture and mix til combined. Continue until you’ve used all the flour and egg/milk.
- Still mixing, add the lemon juice and zest. Stir til combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and bake for about 60 minutes, or until the top is golden and a bamboo skewer comes out clean.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool in the baking dish (this keeps in the moisture).
- To make the blackberry compote, heat the berries and sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat, until the juices have come out and, well, it looks like a compote. Sift in the cornflour and mix until it has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- When the cake and coulis are both at room temperature (or when you’re ready for dessert), serve with a dollop of cream or yoghurt. And a bit of extra lemon zest if you wish.
I found the zestiness of the lemon and the tartness of the berries went well with a thick, unsweetend Greek yoghurt, but whipped or double cream would make this more celebratory. (On that note, I imagine this would be PARTICULARLY nice served with chilled champagne or rosé. On a warm verandah. At sunset.)
NB: The compote will keep well in the fridge for as long as the cake lasts. If you use up all the coulis, you can serve the rest of the cake with jam instead. If you end up with SURPLUS compote, it goes well on ice-cream too.