Pretty Little Summer Fruit Cakes

pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co

I took another round of pottery classes this Spring, and finally got most of the pieces I made all of those months ago back from the studio (the plates in this post). Making pottery is a good exercise for me. It is one that requires a lot of patience, which I find myself in short supply of these days. With pottery there is a lot of waiting: waiting for things to dry to trim, waiting for things to dry to fire, waiting for the bisque fire, then glazing, then the glaze fire. Then sometimes, you get to the end of all of it, after hours and hours of work, and your shit breaks at the very last moment (like the cracked green plate below). It is unavoidable and it happens to the most experienced potters. It is a craft that requires a lot of humility.

Baking comes much easier. It feels natural and simple and I can generally bake things really, really fast - very little patience required. These little summer fruit cakes are that kind of easy treat: quickly thrown together, but quite pretty and tasty. Use any small fruit you like for these cakes, my favorites of the ones pictured were the cakes with little slices of apricots and blackberries, but use whatever you have around. It is a great way to use up little bits of things you may have kicking around in the fridge.

Pretty Little Summer Fruit Cakes

makes 8-15 cakes, depending on the size of the molds

I used about 10 small brioche molds and 2 mini loaf pans here and a combination of lots of odds and ends of fruit that were left in my fridge. Any summer fruit, cut into thin slices or berry sized chunks would be great here. I don't mind the flavor of almond extract in almond cakes, but I know it is a divisive ingredient so feel free to leave it out if you aren't a fan.

6 ounces high quality butter, softened but still cool

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups assorted summer fruit (berries, halved and pitted cherries, sliced apricots, peaches or nectarines, and currants are all great options)

Preheat oven to 325 and great and flour your pans. Put the pans on a baking sheet so they will be easy to move in and out of the oven.

Sift the dry ingredients together, press on the almond meal to help it through the sifter if necessary.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth, then slowly stream in the sugar with the mixer on medium speed. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and cream the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy, and smooth. About 3 minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the extracts.

Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the milk and flour mixture. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into the pans and top each cake with a few pieces of fruit. Bake the cakes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the pans.

Cool for 20 minutes, then remove the cakes to a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar and an additional berry or two just before serving.

pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co

Blackberry Rhubarb Pie and a video!

blackberry rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co

I'm so excited to be sharing a new video with you today! Get a sneak peek into my kitchen, and see how I made this delicious blackberry rhubarb pie (including a mini lattice-weaving tutorial) in the video below. 

video by Pete Lockhart

Between writing my book, blog, and my general love for fruit in buttery crust, I have made so many fruit pies over the last couple of years, and they have become my favorite thing to bake. You may have noticed this on Instagram, it's practically all-pie-all-the-time over there. This pie highlights blackberries and rhubarb, which is a combination I first used during my annual summertime visit to see my family in Seattle a few years ago.

blackberry rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co

It was the August after my brother’s twin daughters were born, and his family had just moved into a new house. Late summer is wild blackberry season in the Pacific Northwest, and my dad and I had picked blackberries from his favorite secret spot earlier that day so we had a pile of freshly picked berries sitting on the counter just waiting to be used. My parents’ rhubarb plant had a few last stalks that were looking wilty from the heat so I picked those too, then combined them with the blackberries and made a crisp covered with buttery streusel

blackberry rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
blackberry rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co

We took the crisp to my brother’s new house, then after the babies were in bed we ate bowls of it warm, topped with Earl Grey Ice Cream from Molly Moon’s which is just down the street from my mom’s shop in Wallingford. The combination was perfectly buttery, sweet, and tart with little crunchy bursts of seeds from the blackberries and soft silky pieces of rhubarb. 

This pie combines those same flavors, along with a wholesome rye crust for a new take on a flavor combination that I just love. 

Blackberry Rhubarb Pie

makes one 9-inch pie


1 1/3 cups rye flour

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

6-8 tablespoons ice water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


1 pound rhubarb stalks

1 1/2 pounds blackberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from the pod

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in half of the butter until it is the size of peas, then cut in the other half until it is the size lima beans. Some of the butter will be completely worked into the flour, but you should have lots of visible pieces of butter in the dough too.

Combine the water and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup. Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and slowly stream about 6 tablespoons of water into the dough while mixing gently. If the dough seems very dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together easily without it falling apart. Press the dough together, then split it in half, form into discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight. I prefer an overnight rest if possible

When you're ready to make the filling and assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 400º F. In a large bowl combine the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds. Use your fingers to rub the zest and seeds into the sugar until well combined and fragrant. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt.

Cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and add it to the bowl. Add the blackberries and lemon juice, but don't stir quite yet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick and place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie. Roll out the other piece of dough into a roughly 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick, and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill that too.

Stir the filling ingredients together, then fill the pie shell and top with the second crust.

Trim the edges so they are even, then crimp them together. Alternately, cut the second crust into 1 1/2 to 2-inch strips and weave a lattice top.

Slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes or until the crust is very firm. When you are ready to bake, carefully and gently brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble. Cool the pie before slicing.

blackberry rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co
blackberry rhubarb pie | apt 2b baking co