I’ve been raiding the hedgerows again! This time not to make our favourite crumble but to make a wonderful blackberry sponge. It is pretty similar to a treacle sponge but has a delicious jam style topping. It is fabulous with custard or cream.
A good couple of handfuls of blackberries
2 Tablespoons of caster sugar
160 g Self raising flour
160 g Soft butter
160 g Caster sugar
2 Large eggs beaten with 2 tbsp of milk
Zest of a lemon
Get your steamer prepared and heated up, along with a pudding basin with a lid. Butter the pudding basin. I buy plastic pudding basins from a company called Lakeland, and use them repeatedly as I like the tight lids that they come with. They are 1.2 litre basins.
Prepare the blackberries by placing them in a saucepan along with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Let them gently cook for a few minutes. You will notice a lot of blackberry liquid. You need to strain off the liquid, but do not waste it, as it is lovely spooned over meringues and pancakes.
In a mixer place the butter and sugar and beat until pale and creamy. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour and a little of the egg/milk mix. Keep alternating until both mixtures are used up. Fold in the lemon zest.
In the bottom of the 1.2 litre pudding bowl place the blackberry mixture. Place the sponge mixture on top leaving a good inch gap at the top.
An important thing to mention is to ensure that the lid or top you use to seal the pudding, is as moisture tight as possible. Nobody will want a soggy pudding!
Steam for an hour and a half – 2 hours . You can check by removing the lid and seeing if the sponge is cooked. Be careful not to get any moisture in the pudding and make sure the lid is back on tightly again if it needs further cooking time. Once cooked, leave to cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself. Loosen the pudding from the sides of the pudding bowl with a sharp knife. Place a plate on top and turn upside down.