Alabama Jam Cake.
My thanks for this recipe goes to Dan who messaged me on my Blog, with this, his grandmother’s recipe. She used to bake it on an open fire, with no temperature, just “add another log and close the damper”. Not even the slightest bit of Cornishness in it, but it is a simple, unusual, easy bake and you all know I love those!
I followed the message up and looked into the history of this US Southern cake and nowadays it often has spices and chopped pecans added, along with a caramel frosting. I decide to add a touch of spice. The jam traditionally used is blackberry [seedless?] as that would have been the cheapest fruit available for jam making. [I raided my daughter’s cupboard after last years’s jam making!] You can also split it when cold and add more jam! [or use two sponge tins?]
I have converted Dan’s recipe to UK imperial measurements and also halved it! It was an enormous cake. Families would have been large.
You will need an 9 inch spring form cake tin, or as I have used, a tray bake tin, at least 2 inches deep, buttered and lined, with parchment hanging over the long ends. Mine was 12 x 8 inches. Pre heat your fan oven to 170C
3 oz butter, softened
7 oz caster sugar
4 tablespoonfuls buttermilk
10 oz plain flour
1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda
1 cup blackberry jam - 5 oz
[a teaspoonful of mixed spice if you wish]
[I also finely chopped a few pecans to give it some extra texture]
I was given no method. So used the ingredients as listed. Cream the butter and sugar together until thick then add the eggs one at a time. Continue whisking until thick and creamy. Stir in the buttermilk along with the flour, bicarb and spice. Mix well then add the jam, folding it in until well incorporated. Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 30-35 mins, until firm to the touch. Longer for a deeper cake. Leave in the tin for a few minutes then lift onto a cooling rack. Cut into squares to serve. Nowadays this cake has a caramel topping drizzled over. I like plain though.
Well, quite a revelation! Just delicious. The smell while baking was wonderful. Jam stirred into cake mix? Whoever thought of that! Thank you Dan, for the recipe and the memories of your grandmother.
Note: if you wish to drizzle over some caramel:
7 oz caster sugar
3 tablespoonfuls butter
8 tablespoonfuls double cream
½ teaspoonful salt [more if you want salted caramel]
In a medium pan, place the sugar over a medium heat and stirring occasionally allow the sugar to melt. Don’t panic if it goes lumpy. It will all melt soon! When you have a lovely amber liquid, stir in the butter a bit at a time and then the cream and salt, stirring continuously. Enjoy. Will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.