This is the simplest and most delicious of apple cakes. Make sure you use sweet and tasty eating apples rather than cooking ones. When in season, peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums all work well too.
65g/2½oz/5tbspbutter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
45ml/3tbsp stale breadcrumbs
3 large/US extra large eggs
150g/5oz/¾cup caster/superfine sugar, plus extra for dusting
grated rind of ½lemon
1kg/2¼lb eating apples, peeled and thinly sliced
30ml/2tbsplight brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease a 25 cm/10 in cake tin or pan with butter, then dust with the breadcrumbs.
Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Fold in the flour, milk, lemon rind and baking powder. The mixture should be quite liquid.
Turn the tin upside down to remove all the loose breadcrumbs. Discard them.
Add half the sliced apples and half the blackberries to the cake batter and stir through.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and arrange the remaining sliced apples and blackberries on top.
Dot with butter, sprinkle with the light brown sugar and bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes.
Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool completely, then remove it from the tin. Serve sprinkled with extra sugar.