Damson crumble cake: The other half of liqueur-making

Once you’ve made your damson gin and used it in a Modern No. 2, you’ll be left with the other half of your project’s materials: gin-soaked damsons.

I’ve always struggled to use these up somehow. I find booze-soaked fruit to be fine in small quantities, but its appeal fades quickly. For some reason, the fruit always tastes boozier than the liqueur!

But now I think I’ve found my “killer app”: damson crumble cake. I came across the recipe in Beyond Nose to Tail, listed as rhubarb crumble cake, but with damsons suggested as a variation. (Not the gin-soaked kind, but I doubt that Fergus Henderson would disapprove.) Essentially, it’s a layer of pound cake, topped with a layer of fruit macerated in sugar, topped with a brown-sugar-and-almond crumble layer. I made a couple of tweaks to the recipe, notably adding a splash of water to the fruit mixture, since the damsons lose some of their water to the gin.

The results are delicious: the cake provides a nice neutral layer to spread out the booziness of the fruit, while the crumble topping adds a crunch and nutty flavour. It’s a decidedly adult treat, although most of the alcohol is no doubt cooked off during baking. Yet that didn’t stop me from having a slice with my lunch…

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