Apple Cake

apple cake

I baked a lovely apple cake recently, moist and gently spiced with a generous amount of fruit, the sugar topping gives a slight crunch. It’s incredibly moreish, perfect with an afternoon mug of tea in the autumn sunshine.

The garden produced an amazing crop of apples and other fruit this year, having plenty of fruit to bake with I made warming crumbles and tarts (spiced apple, apple and pear also apple and blackberry using foraged berries which was delicious), but I also want to pick some fruit for storing. I really must set some time aside to get on with that.

apples

Back to that cake I was telling you about, here’s the recipe:

Serves 10

250g unsalted soft butter

200g caster sugar

250g plain flour

250g apples (cooker or dessert) peeled and diced

3 eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

Half a mug of sultanas

Generous amount of demerara sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 170C (gas mark 3), line the bottom of a 23cm cake tin with parchment paper and grease the sides. Cream the butter and caster sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, beat the eggs together in a small bowl or jug and gradually add to the mixing bowl (add a tablespoon of the flour to the mix if it begins to curdle). Fold in the cinnamon, flour and baking powder until just combined, then fold in the apple and sultanas until completely combined.

Spoon mixture into the cake tin, spread the top until it’s level and push down any protruding apple pieces until they are covered to prevent them from burning. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top, bake on the middle shelf for 50 minutes, a skewer comes out clean when ready. Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.

Perfect just how it is or try adding ground almonds or walnuts. Enjoy!

 

 

Blackcurrant Jam

blackcurrant jam

The weather continues to be beautiful (probably a little too hot for some) and the allotment is pumping out bumper crops of soft fruit. I’ve really got into jam-making recently so I thought I’d post this easy peasy blackcurrant jam recipe. I’ve used blackcurrant ‘Big Ben’ for my jams, but you can use any variety that you wish. I don’t have a sugar thermometer but I will explain how to test for setting point without one.

Foodie bits you will need to make 1 medium/large jar:

  • 300g blackcurrants
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 250ml water

blackcurrants

The preparation bit:

  • Sterilize a jam jar, make sure the jar remains hot at the time of bottling the jam.
  • Put a plate into the fridge or freezer, you will need it to test the setting point of the jam.
  • Wash the blackcurrants and remove stalks.

making blackcurrant jam

The cooking bit:

  • Place the fruit in a preserving pan or large stainless steel saucepan, cover with pre-measured water and bring to a gentle simmer, leave the fruit to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the skins to soften.
  • Add the sugar stirring gently with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved, bring to a full rolling boil for approximately 4 minutes, remove pan from the heat and test for setting point by placing a small amount of jam liquid onto the cold plate, allow to cool slightly then push the liquid with your finger, if it wrinkles then setting point has been reached (if not, return pan to heat and test again).
  • Pour into a hot, clean jar and seal immediately.