The blackberries are dripping off the bushes. The air is heavy with their scent as I walk by, reminding me that I have to get serious about picking them while they’re still plump and sweet. This summer has been so busy; add to that the heat and mosquitoes, and I haven’t really felt the urge to do much picking.
While I still have time for the blackberries, the Transparent Apples are just about done, the horses and cattle getting most of them so far. I need to go out and get enough for half a dozen pies, as they are my favourite pie apples. Mix them with the blackberries, and I’m over the moon! In the cold, dark days of winter, pulling a pie filled with summer fruit from the freezer, and cooking it, not only fills the house with summer smells, but gives us one more chance to eat that sweet summer goodness.
Picking for pies and freezing is a commitment of time that I need to build into an already busy day. But to pick a few cups takes no time at all, to enjoy with ice cream or a baked dessert like this wonderful, very grown up, polenta & almond cake. This citrusy version is a perfect complement to the summer berry crop.
4 small, organic lemons (organic lemons tend to be smaller than main stream ones, use only 3 if your lemons are large)
5 oz butter – cut into 1” pieces, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes
3 extra large eggs
1½ c polenta
2 c ground almonds
1½ t baking powder
1¼ c packed golden sugar
¾ c packed golden sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ c)
Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil.
Drain, cover again with more cold water, and bring back to the boil.
Let simmer over low heat for about an hour, until the lemons are softened. Add more water if needed.
Preheat the oven to 350°
Lightly grease a 9” cake pan or deep pie plate with butter.
Put the lemons into the bowl of a processor.
Process until puréed
In a bowl, mix the polenta with the almonds, baking powder and sugar.
Add to the wet ingredients in the processor.
Process until it is a soft batter.
Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. The cake will pull away from the sides of the pan when done.
Mix the sugar and lemon juice for the glaze.
Serve with Berry Compote and whipped cream.