It's that time of year when, with good intentions of healthier eating I buy tons of fruit and veg from the weekend markets in Marlay Park and Dun Laoighre. One particular crowd cleverly sell hot apple grog on wintery days to chilly and some hungover customers. For an extra Euro they throw in a shot of whiskey, that makes for even more irrational purchasing. Though their cloudy juice is great I like to stock up on fresh apples too. Much as I'd love to I am too self conscious to check the whole bag to see if any dodgy ones made their way to the bottom. They always do... Why are they never on the top..?
A couple of days later it's clear nobody will sully their teeth with these powdery fruits. So if they're not good enough to eat they are good enough for a cake. I recently found this recipe in a magazine and tried it, it's easy and old fashioned makes you feel proud you baked it. Oh, and it's huge.
Autumn Apple Cake
450g Bramley Apples, peeled
Zest and juice of one lemon
225g caster sugar
3 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
25g ground almonds
1 tsp brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/ Gas 4
Grease a 24cm springform tin with butter and cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to line the bottom.
2. Chop the apples into smaall pieces, this can be very random as the apples get very soft in the cake. Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples and leave them aside.
3. If your butter isn't soft, microwave it for 10 seconds, this will save you a lot of bother with a clogged up mixer. Cream the butter in a mixer and add the sugarand grated lemon zest, beat until it is light in colour and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one by one, sifting in some of the flour after each one. Add the baking powder and ground almonds then the apples. Stir the mixture to combine and spoon into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top and place in your pre-heated oven.
5. Check the colour after 30 mins. If it is getting too brown cover the cake loosely with tin foil and continue cooking it for a further 20-30 mins. Everybody knows the temperament of their own oven so follow your instincts.
6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin until warm then sprinkle over extra caster sugar, this gives a lovely crunch alongside the squidgyness of the cake. Be sure to have a slice before it gets cold and smother it with thick, whipped cream. It will keep for a few days in a tin if you can keep yourr hands off it!