Autumn Apple Picking & Apple Cake Recipe
I wasn't quite sure what constituted the grand title of 'orchard.' Turns out its 'a group of fruit or nut tree's in an enclosed space', rendering the term orchard a bit more loose and less grandiose than we are first inclined to assume. AND SO, I spent a portion of the weekend picking apples from my friends very own grand spanking- three tree strong- orchard.
In an effort to do one of my favourite things and make something in the kitchen which started in the garden we made an apple cake that I first spied (thanks to Laura at Circle of Pine Trees) over on the Weekends Collected site.
Technically, the cake you see before you shouldn't have those carbon tinged edges but the problem is that on a crispy autumn weekend the lure of warm apple cake and clotted cream is just so damn strong. So we cranked up the temperature to quicken the cake eating process and the above happened.
Thankfully, the desire was so great that the carbon undertones didn't even matter. It was the connection made to the outdoors and our plates, and the warm cake and cream that left the lasting taste.
130g butter, softened
130g unrefined caster sugar
2 apples (or 3 if very small)
the juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
demerara sugar – 2 tbsp plus more for sprinkling
eggs – 2 large
130g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Heat the oven to 180c/gas 4
Line the base and sides of a 24cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper
Combine the butter and caster sugar, and cream together. If you have a freestanding mixer, you can leave them to mix whilst you get on with the apples
Core and finely chop the apples and toss with the lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in the demerara sugar and the cinnamon, if using (I love the cake both with and without it, depending on my mood)
Beat the eggs and whisk with a fork. Slowly add to the butter and sugar, beating as you go. Sift together the flour and baking powder (it may seem a hassle, but it really does make for a lighter cake). Fold them gently into the mixture
Spread the mixture evenly over the base of the cake tin, scatter the apple pieces on top and pour over any excess lemon juice
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the apple pieces have browned, the edges of the cake have shrunk away from the sides of the tin, and a skewer comes out clean. Immediately scatter generously with demerara sugar and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
Eat warm (and maybe with clotted cream)
*Thanks Hannah for your photographs