Recipe Card: Anne Marshall’s Pimm’s and strawberry cake

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This recipe is for a delicious cake which encapsulates two of the delights of hot weather.

It takes a little time, but it is worth it. Because it contains fresh fruit, the cake is not a good keeper, but if you offer this to guests you are unlikely to have any left anyway.

Ingredients: serves 8 – 12 (depending on generosity)

Strawberries

200ml Pimm’s No 1 cup (or similar drink)

1 tsp vanilla extract (not essence – the flavour is very different)

200g caster sugar

250g fresh strawberries

The cake

400g plain flour

225g softened butter

Half tsp baking powder

400g caster sugar

Pinch salt

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

225 ml buttermilk

Method:

Line a 9-inch round tin or springform mould.

Place the Pimm’s, vanilla extract and sugar in a pan over a moderate heat. Bring to boil and boil for about 10 minutes until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.

Add the strawberries and let them soak for about 20 minutes.

Drain the strawberries and reserve the syrup for later.

Set the oven to 165 C.

Sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl.

In another bowl beat the butter and add the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add buttermilk then pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the strawberries and fold together.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for one hour, or until a skewer comes out clean and the top is very lightly brown. This cake is quite pale so don’t be tempted to leave it in longer than necessary.

When cooked, remove from the oven, prick all over with a skewer and pour the syrup over.

Allow to cool and enjoy.