Recipe: Blackberry-and-apple tea cake with blackberry sorbet

A surprisingly simple tea cake recipe, served with a refreshing blackberry sorbet. Perfect for an afternoon treat.

Serves 4


For the sorbet

500g blackberries

1 whole lemon

175g caster sugar

300ml water

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For the tea cake

175g softened butter

175g caster sugar

½tspn vanilla-bean paste

3 eggs

175g self-raising flour

50ml double cream

225g blackberries

2 tart apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced

1tbspn brown sugar


For the sorbet

Whizz up the blackberries in a food processor, pass them through a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of the seeds and return them to the bowl of the processor. Squeeze in a little lemon juice to taste.

Boil the sugar and water in a saucepan until they reach the short-thread stage (or 106˚C on a sugar thermometer). With the food processor on, pour the sugar syrup in with the blackberries. Process, then freeze in a container. Once frozen, return the sorbet to the food processor and break up the crystals, before refreezing.

For the tea cake

Grease an 8in loose-bottomed cake tin and preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.

Using an electric hand-mixer, combine the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla-bean paste and the eggs, one by one, incorporating each one as you go. Fold the flour through gently until just combined, then add the splash of cream to loosen the mixture.

Next, fold two-thirds of the blackberries and one-third of the apples through the batter. Pour it into the prepared tin, then arrange the remaining apple slices and blackberries on the top.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for about 50–55 minutes or until gently browned and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for a few minutes in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool briefly.

Serve the warm tea cake dusted with icing sugar and with the sorbet on the side.