I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like apples, or apple-based desserts. My personal favourite is a rich, buttery apple tarte tatin, but usually if I have to take a dessert to a friend's house I'll make a tasty apple pie. It's quick, easy and always delicious.
Hubby was given a big bag of windfall apples from someone at work. Unfortunately I was so busy with work that I left them a couple of days and had to think of something quick to do with them before my carrier bag of apples turned into a carrier bag of cider.
I have really fond memories of "helping" my Mum in the kitchen when I was younger by eating the apple peel as she cooked apple pies. Another lovely memory I have is of all the moist, delicious apple cakes I ate at my Grandparents' house in the summer. My grandparents had a big apricot tree and two fig trees so the neighbours would help themselves to those and in turn leave these delicious cakes on the doorstep to be eaten after tea.
I guess when I saw these apples I wanted to recreate some happy memories, and not being able to choose I came across a recipe which seemed to combine the two.
Based on a Mary Berry recipe, this produces a delicious moist cake full of tangy, gooey apple. The long cooking time at a low heat means that while the middle stays moist the outside becomes like a pie crust. The best of both worlds.
I think this is best served warm on its own, with ice cream or drizzled with custard. It does pretty well being popped in the microwave to heat up a couple of days after baking.
What I Used...
3-4 cooking apples (about 250g after coring and peeling)
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
225g vanilla sugar
150g melted butter
2 large eggs
Lemon juice (optional)
How I Did It...
1. Heat a fan assisted oven to 140 degrees C.
2. Butter and flour a small baking tin (this was 20cm). I've never had to line a baking tin, this always works perfectly for me.
3. Peel, core and thickly slice apples. If you're going to leave them for a while mix some lemon juice in to stop them browning.
4. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs and melted butter together. You'll get quite a thick batter.
5. Put 3/4 of the mixture in the bottom of the tin.
6. Pile on the apples, thicker in the middle of the cake. It seems like a lot of apples but trust the recipe.
7. Spread the last of the batter over the apples. It should just about cover them. If it doesn't reach the edges don't panic... it will sort itself out in the oven.
8. Bake for 1hr 30 - 1hr 45, or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.
Mary Berry uses almond essence and flaked almonds which sounds lovely, but I think this would also be nice with cinnamon, or sprinkled with brown sugar before baking.