Monday, 27 February 2012


It was exceedingly hot down here over the weekend - never mind that the weekend before we had the fire going.

Look at what my clever huband cooked last night during a last days of summer heatwave:

 Drumroll's Grandma's Bramble Cake from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion. I have the old orange version and it's page 122 - 123. He's also very adept at Lemon Delicious Pudding.

All of the planets have to be in alignment to create this. You have to remember to plunder those unforgotten weedy fringes around town where blackberries grow at the very precise time they are fruiting. And then hope against hope that they haven't been sprayed and that you don't stumble across a dead body in the process.

Then you have  to dedicate an afternoon to picking them - at great physical risk as nothing stings as much as blackberry prickles. I could tell you our favourite places around town to pick blackberries yet then they would all be gone for another year and there would be no chance of another cake. Sorry. And this cake is worth it. Maybe take a drive in the country.

Don't be put off with the fact that this is made with lard pastry. Yes, lard is nothing other than clarified pig fat, usually packaged in a block which could easily be mistaken for butter. In previous years I've had difficulty sourcing lard yet yesterday I bought it at Coles. Unfortunately, in this recipe you can't substitute lard with any other kind of fat and it may seem offputting yet the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And it is spectacularly delicious.


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