Ingredients 175g very soft butter (softer even than room temperature)
175g golden caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
175g fresh cherries, or other stone fruit such as apricots, peaches or plums
140g granulated sugar
1-2 tbsp citrus juice. I used lemon but you can try orange or lime.
Pre-heat the oven and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment, or use a greaseproof loaf tin liner.
Wash, stone and chop the fruit into even sized pieces.
If you want to be old fashioned you can cream the caster sugar with the butter.
Fold in the flour.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Or you can beat everything together in one go using an electric mixer. This will take about five minutes and result in a pale, thick and creamy mixture.
Spread one third of the cake mix into the bottom of the prepared tin.
Top with 50g of the prepared fruit.
Dot another third of the cake mixture on top of the fruit and spread as evenly as possible.
Scatter another 50g of the fruit on top of the cake mixture and finish with the remaining cake mix. Level the top and put in the oven to bake. I always check after about 50 minutes as the cake may take less than an hour to cook. It is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, but leave it in the loaf tin and use a skewer to make holes all over the top.
Combine the remaining fruit with the granulated sugar and a tablespoon of citrus juice. Mash a little with a fork and add another drop or two of the juice if needed.
Spoon over the cake and leave to cool and the topping TO set.
Serve with tea or coffee, or with some fresh cream as a dessert.