As a child, one of my favourite puddings (yes, it’s called pudding in Stoke) was cherry crumble; it was also one of the first things I ever baked by myself. I was also a sucker for anything with almond: Bakewell tart, sugared almonds, marzipan… I just couldn’t get enough!
When my partner asked about baking for National Cherry Day (16 July), I just knew I had to come up with something that ticked all of the boxes for my favourite dessert. It is no surprise then that I came up with this Cherry Bakewell blondie… which has a crumble topping! I truly think this may be one of the most British things I have ever baked. Especially since I already know the debate that will ensue over whether it should be eaten with custard or cream! (I’ll let you decide.)
Cherry Bakewell Blondies
Serves: 9-12 slices | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the crumble:
- 60g flour, all-purpose
- 30g butter, chilled
- 30g light brown sugar
For the blondies:
- 110g butter, melted
- 210g light brown sugar
- 1 egg, medium
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 50g ground almonds
- 150g flour, all-purpose
- 200g cherries, pitted and halved
- Preheat the oven to 180°c then grease and line a 9″ square tin. First, we’ll make the crumble topping.
- In a mixing bowl, rub your flour and butter together until you have a fine breadcrumb.
- Add your sugar, and mix until fully combined. Place the bowl in the fridge until it’s ready to top your blondies.
- Next, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat before pouring it into a mixing bowl to cool for a few minutes.
- Add the sugar to the melted butter and beat until you have a glossy brown, caramel-like mixture.
- Without hesitation, beat the egg, vanilla, and almond extracts into your mixture. You will need to beat it as soon as the egg goes in just to be sure that the slightly warm mixture doesn’t start to cook the egg. It’s at this point that your kitchen will start to smell simply divine.
- Sift in your ground almonds and flour, and beat the mixture until it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. As a guide, you will need to beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cherries to your batter, folding to incorporate them fully.
- Spoon your mixture into the greased tin and spread evenly before sprinkling over a hefty layer of crumble topping.
- Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares and serving.
Top tip: If you don’t want to use a crumble topping, try flaked almonds or even some granola!