Country Style - - HOME COOKING -

Serves 8 (See pho­to­graph, page 75) 2 cups plain flour ¼ cup al­mond meal ¾ cup caster sugar 180g cold un­salted but­ter, chopped ½ tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon ½ tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der ½ tea­spoon bi­car­bon­ate of soda ½ tea­spoon salt 2 eggs, lightly whisked 300ml sour cream 2 ta­ble­spoons milk 1 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract 250g fresh cher­ries, pit­ted 1 ta­ble­spoon white sugar 60g whole blanched al­monds, roughly chopped 1 ta­ble­spoon ic­ing sugar mix­ture, to dust

Pre­heat oven to 175°C. Grease a 22cm round spring­form pan, then line base and side with bak­ing pa­per. Com­bine flour, al­mond meal and caster sugar in a large bowl. Us­ing your fin­ger­tips, rub but­ter into flour mix­ture un­til it re­sem­bles fine bread­crumbs. Trans­fer ¾ cup of flour mix­ture to a sep­a­rate bowl to make crum­ble top­ping. Add cin­na­mon to top­ping and stir un­til well com­bined. Place top­ping in freezer to firm. Sift bak­ing pow­der, bi­car­bon­ate of soda and salt into re­main­ing flour mix­ture. Stir un­til well com­bined. Place eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla ex­tract in a sep­a­rate bowl and beat with a fork. Add sour cream mix­ture to flour mix­ture and mix with a spat­ula or wooden spoon un­til well com­bined. Spoon into pre­pared pan and smooth sur­face. Ar­range pit­ted cher­ries over top of cake, gen­tly press­ing into sur­face. Sprin­kle cher­ries with white sugar. Re­move crum­ble top­ping from freezer and spoon over cake. Top with chopped al­monds. Bake for 1 hour and 15 min­utes or un­til a skewer in­serted into cen­tre of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 min­utes, then trans­fer cake to a serv­ing plate. Dust with ic­ing sugar and serve warm.

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