Quatre-Quarts aux Cassis

My fondness for this French version of our pound cake dates from the time that we stayed in a particularly primitive gîte rural and I devised some simple balance scales with a stick and a couple of plastic bags so that I could make a quatre-quarts. It worked. And now when I have picked a bowlful of blackcurrants in Devon I sometimes make this cake as a reminder of that ill-equipped kitchen in Vaucluse.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs (in their shells)
  • flour to the same weight as the eggs
  • caster sugar to the same weight as the eggs
  • butter to the same weight as the eggs
  • zest of lemon, finely grated or 1 teaspoon orange-flower water
  • 225 g(8 oz) blackcurrants or raspberries (the fruit must be dry)

Method

Break the eggs into a bowl and gradually mix in the flour, sugar and butter, first melted in a small pan with the zest of lemon or orange-flower water. Mix well.

Butter a 23–25 cm(9–10 in) cake tin, ideally with fluted sides for the prettiest cake. Place a disc of buttered greaseproof paper in the base. Spoon half the mixture into the tin. Sprinkle the fruit on top and cover with the remainder of the mixture. Smooth level.

Bake the cake in the centre of a moderate oven (Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F) for about 45 minutes until springy to the touch in the centre.

Cool in the tin for 2 minutes, and turn out to cool on a wire rack. The cake is also good served warm with crème fraîche.

Loading
Loading
Loading