The season? Autumn. It’s fruit? Apples.
Autumn is definitely the time of year when apples truly come into their own. Apple crumbles as the brisk chill of the season sets in, apple bobbing at Halloween, sticky Toffee Apples with firework displays on Bonfire Night, apple chutneys lovingly preserved in preparation for christmas gifting. Without apples there’d be no cider (shudder at the thought), is there anything that this versatile fruit cannot do?!
With so many different varieties of apples it’s no wonder that we can do so many marvelous things with them, from savoury to sweet dishes & from juices to alcohol this fruit can do no wrong. Much as I love a comforting crumble (with a generous dollop of custard), two of my favourite uses for this forbidden fruit are in a cake and in my apple chutney.
Being in a rural area (my neighbours, and often garden visitors, really are sheep) it’s not hard to come by some forage worthy seasonal fruit and vegetables, but every Autumn there is always the person whose garden contains a fruit laden apple tree that their owners, thankfully, do not have a use for but do not like to see come to waste. Neighbours, colleagues, friends, get out there and find your supplier.
My love of apple cake began with Delia, my first endeavor into baking with fruit was chunky apple cake from Delias Cakes (a book that I still treasure to this day). Many cakes and tweaks later, I bring you my very own apple cake…
AUTUMN APPLE CAKE
(makes one 20cm cake)
- 4 apples
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 120g butter
- 140g soft light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp demerera sugar
- Grease and line a round 20cm baking tin with baking parchment
- Peel the apples and dice 2 of them, thinly slice the other 2 apples
- Place the sliced apples into a small bowl and mix with the lemon juice
- Place all of the cake ingredients except for the milk into bowl and combine
- Add the milk to the mixture until it reaches a good dropping consistency (you can add a little more if needed)
- Stir the diced apples through the mixture
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the surface
- Carefully arrange the sliced apples on top of the bake
- Sprinkle over the demerera sugar
- Bake at 180°C for 1 hour
- Leave the cake to cool in its tin for 10 minutes before removing & allowing to cool fully on a cooling rack
It is lovely eaten still warm or with a little custard