20 October 2011
I scrumped these apples a couple of weeks ago from an orchard in which all the fruit had been picked and a mass of perfectly good apples left on the ground. I thought they would at least be good to make pies and cakes with, but in fact they are perfectly lovely apples, yellow fleshed and delicious to eat. Only one batch of apple cakes has been made so far, for an evening of food sharing at the WI (link in the side bar). Tomorrow there will be another made for a coffee morning we are having at Bethnal Green Library, which happens to be one of the few traditional libraries in this borough ( we have "Idea Stores" now). It is my little contribution to Apple Day - see the England In Particular website for more info. Links are a pain just now because my other Apple, the electronic one, is playing me up. The cursor keeps jumping about, and the guess is that it is a hardware problem. It doesn't feel like that to me as it started after I opened a dodgy email. Any advice gratefully received before I start queuing at the genius bar. In the meantime, here is the recipe for the very simple Dorset Apple Cake, cut out from a Waitrose magazine and stuck into my recipe book. I'm attempting to make some of those recipes in the book that I've never attempted before. This one is quite light and delicate for an apple cake, and if my mum says it tastes good, well, that's good enough for me. She's not known for her diplomacy.
Dorset Apple Cake
Take: 1 large Bramley, about 225g, 225g SR flour, 1 tsp baking powder, half a tsp of mixed spice, 125g cold butter, diced, 125g caster sugar, finely grated zest of 1 lemon, 2 medium eggs, beaten. To finish: either 1 tbsp sugar for dredging or, for glaze, a tsp of honey and water.
Use a 20cm cake tin, lined and greased; preheat oven to 190 degrees C, Gas 5.
Peel and core apple into quarters. Dice 3 of the quarters and finely slice the remaining quarter (keep this for the topping).
Sift flour, baking powder and spice. Rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs (well, sort of). Stir in sugar, diced apple and lemon zest, then slowly add beaten eggs to forma stiffish mixture. Spoon into the prepared tin and level off. Arrange the remaining slices apple on the top. If there is not quite enough, just add a few slices of whatever eating apple you have to hand.
Bake for 30-40 mins until springy to touch. Then either dredge with tbsp of sugar OR make a simple glaze with honey and a little hot water to melt the honey and brush this on. I prefer a glaze and I'm thinking it might be nice with a little bit of cinnamon in. Might try that next.
Leave in the tin for 10 mins, then cool on a rack.
Hope you have an apple-delicious day. I hope to. Cursors and curses permitting.