Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 26 September 2008

Windfall Cake

From this...

... to this. Yum!

This is the first year I've had a sufficiently large apple crop where I haven't insisted we eat the windfalls up ASAP before tackling the really nice fruit. My allotment cordons have yielded nearly 300 apples, so I can afford to do other things with the less desirable ones. Our current favourite use is to bake this rather nice apple cake. As it was the World's Biggest Coffee Morning earlier on today, I made one to accompany my morning cuppa. The apples in the bowl are a mixture of Scrumptious, James Grieve, Sunset and Princesse (aka King of the Pippins).

I found this recipe for West Country Apple Cake by Googling 'Apple Cake' and it seemed the most apt one to use bearing my location in mind. I intend to try substituting cider in the recipe sometime to make it even more authentically West Country. The cake slices into 8 generous portions, which means you're getting about one of your '5 a day' per slice!

Ingredients

  • 450g (1lb) Cooking Apples peeled, cored and chopped - it seems to work fine with my windfall dessert apples too
  • 225g (8oz) Plain Flour - I've successfully used Self Raising (SR) Flour instead and omitted the Baking Powder
  • 175g (6oz) Dark Soft Brown Sugar - any other sugar I have to hand seems to work fine
  • 110g (4oz) Butter
  • 2 Eggs, beaten - I use medium size and don't bother to beat them = less washing up to do
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk (or cider perhaps?)
  • 1 tablespoon Clear Honey, warmed slightly - I haven't bothered with this yet
  • 1 tablespoon Light Demerara sugar - I haven't used this either
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Mixed Spice - I use lots more of this and the cinnamon because NAH and I love spicy cake
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder - omit if using SR flour

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees centigrade: 325 degrees fahrenheit: Gas mark 3
  2. Grease a deep 18cm (7 inch) round cake tin - I don't bother lining it like the recipe says, especially as I use a tin with a loose base
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating constantly - or beat in one at a time if you're using my approach to the recipe
  5. Gradually add the flour, spices (and baking powder), mixing thoroughly
  6. Fold in the apples and enough milk (cider?) to produce a soft dropping consistency
  7. Pour into the prepared cake tin
  8. Bake for one and a half hours until well risen and firm to the touch - I have a fan assisted oven, so find that one hour and ten minutes is about right.
  9. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool
  10. When cool, brush with the warmed honey and sprinkle with demerara sugar (optional)

Update (November 2008) - further notes having made several of these since:

  1. Wholemeal flour can be used instead, or a half n' half mixture of refined:wholemeal self-raising flour. It doesn't seem to make much difference to the final taste or texture
  2. If using dessert apples, the sugar content of the recipe can be significantly reduced. Two thirds or half of what's given in the recipe works fine
  3. If using dessert apples, there's no need to peel the apples first as their skins are thinner than cooking apples. It's a much quicker cake to make as a result too!
  4. The milk can often be omitted if using dessert apples, so be sure to add the apples before the milk, no matter how dry the mix looks after the adding flour stage
  5. I use loads more cinnamon as we like a spicy cake - up to four heaped teaspoons

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe. A friend of mine just gave me lots of apples so now I know just how to use them, yummy!

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  2. VP ... I made home made rice pudding this morning .. had some for lunch .. BUT !! now reading about your apple cake has made me hungry all over again girl !
    I have a big bag of apples on hand here .. BIG sigh ... now see what you have made me do ?? LOL
    We are just getting the Doctor Whos now .. Mount Vesuvius chapter tonight .. haha

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a lovely recipe. I never think to put apples in cakes. I must give it a go soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmmmmm - naughty but nice !

    ReplyDelete
  5. That looks good, and will be made chez Mouffetard in the very near future!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Angelcat - hello, haen't seen you for ages! I hope you enjoy the cake when you make it :)

    TS - I did and you had it today!

    Joy - there's still time to make some. And whooooo you've got Dr Who at last :D

    LW - go on give it a go!

    Anna - it is :)

    HM - I look forward to hearing how you get on with it :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Funnily enough, my cake was in the oven baking away when I got an email to say that you had popped by my blog! Even though I'm no domestic goddess, infact I think this is the first cake I've made since school, it turned out beautifully tastes delicious, thanks once again for sharing the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Brilliant - what better endorsement is that? :)

    By another spooky coincidence, I was just about to start making another when your comment arrived!

    ReplyDelete

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