Summer in the south means wandering through the hollow in search of ripe blackberries. They grow along trails and creeks and are easy to find. But did you know that in the south, black walnuts are just as common as blackberries? Although they are not a native species and were introduced to the area by early settlers, the hardy trees have adapted to the climate and thrive here. The nuts are so plentiful that it is common to find people giving them away by the basketful.
When it is the peak of blackberry season, it is also jam making season and if you do not make your own blackberry jam, chances are someone you know does. Nothing combines sweet, homemade blackberry jam with black walnuts better than a traditional southern jam cake. The original recipe for this particular cake came to me from a coworker; it was his grandmother's recipe. She was known as Big Momma and something tells me she probably used her own homemade blackberry jam to make this moist and spicy cake. If you do not have homemade jam, store bought jam will suffice as will regular walnuts or even pecans if you cannot find black walnuts. —janeofmanytrade
Blackberry Jam Cake
freshly grated nutmeg
unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups
dark brown sugar, packed
blackberry jam, homemade and seedless if possible
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour a large bundt pan. place the raisins in a small saucepan and cover with water. bring to a boil, turn off the heat and allow the raisins to cool completely; drain well. place the walnuts on a small baking pan and toast in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. let them cool and chop them evenly.
sift the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda into a bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream the butter with the brown sugar and the salt on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl as you go. Add the jam and mix it in completely. Add the reserved dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, scraping the bowl completely once or twice. Fold in the raisins and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
bake until a pick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about an hour. let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. place the cooled cake onto a serving dish or cake stand and drizzle with the coconut caramel glaze.
Coconut Caramel Glaze
place the brown sugar, butter, half and half, coconut and flour into a large shallow, heavy saucepan. set over medium low heat and cook while stirring until the mixture is completely blended and begins to boil.
continue to boil gently while whisking until the mixture begins to thicken, about 7-10 minutes. remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. scrape the glaze into a heat proof dish and press plastic wrap to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. chill in the fridge until it is cool and thickened but will still dollop off of a spoon.
using a large spoon, drizzle the glaze, bit by bit, over the top of the bundt cake. guide the glaze with the spoon so that the entire cake has drizzles of glaze running down the sides.