James Martin’s very best of British: Damson upside down cake with cider custard
From a spicy chicken curry to these mouthwatering beef pies with oysters, sample succulent dishes from James Martin, inspired by his culinary tour of the UK British
A wonderfully tart sponge with a custard that is simply to die for – trust us you’ll have no leftovers
There’s a saying that you ‘plant a plum for your son but plant a damson for your grandson’. That’s how long these trees take to bear fruit. I should know, I’m still waiting for a crop from my trees.
If you’re lucky enough to have damsons, this is the perfect cake to make but you can use plums instead. I’ve also used Kentish cider after my visit to a fruit farm there.
- 200g (7oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
- 1 apple, cored and sliced
- 200g (7oz) damsons, halved and stoned (or use plums)
For the custard
- 8 egg yolks
- 75g (2¾oz) caster sugar
- 100ml (3½fl oz) cider
- 300ml (10fl oz) double cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
Grease a 23cm round cake tin and line with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar until pale.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour if the mixture looks as though it might curdle. Use a metal spoon to fold in the flour and half of the apple.
Arrange the remaining apple in the bottom of the tin, spaced apart, then scatter the damsons over.
Spoon the cake batter on top, spreading it out so it covers the fruit and is even.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until just combined. Pour the cider and cream into a pan and heat gently until warm, then pour over the yolks and sugar and whisk together.
Pour the custard back into the pan and heat gently, continuing to whisk until it starts to thicken – it’s ready when it coats the back of a spoon.
Strain through a sieve into a bowl, then pour into a jug. Upturn the cake onto a plate and peel off the baking paper.
Slice and serve with the custard poured over the top.
James Martin’s Great British Adventure is published by Quadrille, £25. To order a copy for £20, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640, p&p is free. Spend £30 on books and get FREE premium delivery. Offer valid until 23/02/2019. Photographs: Peter Cassidy. James Martin’s Great British Adventure TV series starts on Monday at 2pm on ITV.