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Plum, blackberry, and bay friand

Friands are the light, moist almond cakes popular in Australia, New Zealand, and France. Whisked egg whites and very little flour make them wonderfully light, and the almond meal makes them really moist. Traditionally they’re small cakes, but here I tip the batter into a baking dish and cook it whole.

You can make the batter well in advance, if you want to get ahead— it keeps well in the fridge up to 1 day. But don’t macerate the fruit for this amount of time as it will become too juicy.

Serve with custard, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. The fruit can be played around with, depending on the season. Raspberries and peaches can be used in the early summer months, for example.

Serves six generously

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 7 oz blackberries
  • 4 ripe plums, pits removed, cut into ½-inch/1cm wedges (2½ cups/360g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Rounded ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5¼ oz egg whites (from 4 or 5 large eggs)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Place the blackberries and plums in a bowl with the vanilla, granulated sugar, bay leaves, and ½ tsp of the cinnamon. Set aside for 30 minutes. Don’t be tempted to leave them sitting around for longer than this, as the fruit will become too juicy.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Mix the flour, confectioners’ sugar, almond meal, the remaining ½ tsp of cinnamon, and salt in a separate large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Lightly whisk the egg whites by hand for 30 seconds, so they just start to froth. Stir into the flour mixture, along with the melted butter, until combined.
  5. Tip the batter into a 9 x 13-inch/23 x 33cm parchment-lined baking dish and top evenly with the fruit and juices. Bake for 60 minutes, covering the dish with foil for the final 10 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Set aside for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe excerpted from Ottolenghi Simple cookbook