This Polish inspired easy Blackberry Tray Bake with Prunes (Healthy) is low in fat and sugar, perfect as a light, deliciously fruity treat or snack.
This Easy Blackberry Cake with Prunes is based on a recipe my mum used to make when I was a child. Since she never wrote it down I had to rely on my memory of this wonderful treat and use my knowledge of baking to create this recipe. Although it is not exactly as I remember it (I’ll tell you why in a minute) I tried to stick to the idea of creating layers of pastry and fruit. Which is how my mum made it.
There is a type of jam/preserve in Poland called ‘powidla‘, which is made by cooking fruit (mainly plums) with sugar in a heavy bottomed pot very slowly for hours. The final product is a thick, sticky the mixture and the plums are nowhere to be seen. A bit like a seriously overcooked jam. This is how I remember it being made years ago.
Although it tasted great it was a laborious activity as it required frequent stirring (to prevent the plums from burning and sticking to the pan). So for a working mother it meant giving up a good chunk of her weekend in order to produce a few jars of this lovely spread!
I like shortcuts!
How to make blackberry tray bake filling
So in this easy tray bake recipe I used a mixture of prunes (which already taste like overcooked plums) and blackberries, to make a tangy and rich tasting ‘powidla‘ of sorts. The juice of the blackberries provided enough moisture so I didn’t have to add any water! Although the mixture still required a lot of stirring it only took about 6 minutes to cook (see Instructions below)!
And it is pretty healthy too, as I only added 2 tablespoons of sugar. Plus both blackberries as well as prunes are full of goodness. Blackberries are said to retain their nutritional benefits even after cooking!
How to make easy blackberry tray bake
Not only is the filling in this healthy tray bake with blackberries quick and easy to make the entire cake is super simple too. Once you’ve prepared the filling and combined the dry ingredients make the batter. Cream the sugar, egg yolks, butter, vanilla and fromage frais and gradually add the flour mixture until the dough starts to form. Knead briefly, then divide the dough into 2 parts. Place the larger dough in the tin and cover the bottom pressing tightly. Combine the smaller dough with a bit of cocoa and set aside.
Then simply spread the fruit filling over the cake, whisk the egg whites until fluffy and spread over the fruit. Then coarsely grate the cocoa dough over the whole thing, sprinkle with almond flakes and demerara sugar and bake. Your cake will be ready after 35 minutes!
The Instructions for this recipe are quite lengthy, but don’t be put off! The cake itself is simple and really doesn’t take too long to make. But it does have layers so I wanted to ensure I clarified all the steps involved in making it.
These blackberry prune tray bake makes a tasty morning or afternoon treat, delicious with a cup of coffee or tea. Any questions, let me know:)
More blackberries recipes
Check out also this collection of 27 everyday healthy cacao recipes!
Blackberry Tray Bake with Prunes (Healthy)
- 300 g blackberries
- 200 g prunes pitted, finely chopped
- 2 eggs at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
- 100 g caster sugar plus 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon
- 100 g butter at room temperature (plus a little more for greasing the baking dish)
- 3 tablespoons fromage frais
- 230 g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or cacao, it's better for you
- Demerara sugar and almond flakes to sprinkle on top
- In a saucepan combine the blackberries, prunes and 2 tablespoons of sugar, stir and cook over a low/medium heat for approximately 6 minutes, stirring often and squashing the fruit with the back of the spoon as you stir. The mixture will be thick and sticky. Set aside to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 365 F/ 190 C/ gas mark 5. Grease a 23 cm square (or equivalent) baking dish and line with parchment paper (alternatively, instead of using paper, grease the tin lightly, sprinkle with a little flour and shake to spread it evenly around the sides and bottom). Set aside.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat the butter, 100g of sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract and fromage frais until smooth and lighter in colour (about 3 minutes). Start gradually adding the flour mixture. When the dough begins to form place it on a work surface and knead in any remaining flour. Do NOT knead for too long, only until all the ingredients have been incorporated.
- Divide the dough into 2 parts (1 larger - two thirds, and 1 smaller - one third). Flatten the larger dough with your hands and place in the baking dish - continue flattening until it covers the bottom evenly and completely (you may want to dust your hands with a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking to them).
- Cover with the fruit mixture, using the back of the spoon to even it out.
- Whisk together the egg whites with 1 teaspoon of sugar until light and fluffy (about 1.5-2 minutes using an electric mixer). Spread over the top of the fruit mixture, using the back of the spoon to even it out gently - do NOT press down.
- Sprinkle the cacao (or cocoa) powder on the smaller dough ball and knead until all the powder has been absorbed. Coarsely grate the dough over the top of the cake - do NOT press down!
- Sprinkle some Demerara sugar and almond flakes over the top (1-2 tablespoons each) and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes and serve!
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