For the cake:
150g unsalted butter, cold
300g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g caster (superfine) sugar
1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
3 tart cooking apples
1 Tbs sugar
300mL thin (pouring/whipping) cream, well chilled
Icing (confectioners') sugar, to decorate
Make the cake:
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (350 F/Gas 4).
Cut the butter into small cubes.
Place the flour, baking powder and butter in a mixing bowl and work together with an electric beater until you have a mixture with the texture of breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar.
Make a well in the middle and pour in the buttermilk and beaten egg. Work the dough together with your fingers (but not too much!) until you have a slightly sticky dough.
Knead the dough for about 1 minute on a lightly floured surface, then lay it in a round, buttered 18cm-20cm spring form cake tin.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the shortcake is golden and well risen.
Make the Filling:
Peel the apples, cut them into segments and remove the seeds.
Pour a little water into a saucepan, add the sugar and bring to the boil.
Add the apples and poach them until they are very tender and the water has evaporated.
Add the blackberries, crushing them slightly. Let this mixture cool.
Whip the cream until light using an electric beater.
Slice the shortcake in two horizontally and spread the whipped cream on the lower half.
Arrange the fruit on top, then place the top half of the cake on top of the fruit.
Dust with sugar and serve.
Credits: 100 Desserts to Die For by Trish Deseine (Murdoch Books) $39.99 available in bookstores and online.