The apple crop is bountiful this autumn.
Green grocers, famers markets and supermarkets are awash in local apple displays.
This situation calls for afternoon tea with an apple. We did just that. Yesterday.
Today we are far more adventuresome with apples. After a quick consultation with broadcaster, author and fellow blogger Cynthia Reyes about apples and how to cook, can and consume them, we have decided to adapt one of Cynthia’s recipes for an apple cake.
You will recall from earlier bogs that Cynthia is the author of A Good Home, a very good home indeed which boast a couple of heritage apple trees.
As we’ve toyed considerably with the recipe, we have re-christened it Lady Cynthia Cake.
200 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup cooking molasses (treacle)
2 large eggs
350 grams self-raising flour (or regular four plus one tablespoon baking powder)
100 gram rolled oats
1 tablespoon mixed spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove – a little more than half a teaspoon per spice)
2 largish baking apples – Cortland, Empire or similar; peeled, cored and diced
2 largish Bosc pears, peeled cored and diced
1 largish orange – the zest and the juice
2 tablespoons rum (the real stuff, not extract). In honour of Lady Cynthia’s Jamaican roots, we’re using Appleton Estate Rum
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/350 degrees Fahrenheit
Combine, flour, oatmeal and spices; set aside
Toss apple, pear chunks with the rum; set aside
Beat butter and molasses (electric beater works wonders)
Gradually beat in each egg until thoroughly blended
Fold in flour mixture; mixture should be dry, crumbly
Press half this mixture into a greased round or rectangle oven-proof dish
Give the marinating fruit a good stir with a wooden spoon; spread the fruit over the mixture in the baking dish; use s a rubber spatula to ensure you drain all the rum into the mixture
Sprinkle with orange zest; to prevent the zest from clumping, take a tablespoon of flour and sprinkle to coat the zest
Spread this mixture over the apples, pears.
Bake 40 – 45 minutes until the top of the cake is firm to the touch.
Serve warm or cold. The cake will have a firm cake bottom with soft fruit in the middle and pudding-like top layer.
Brew a cup of your favourite tea. We recommend a Darjeeling or green tea whose subtle favour will enhance the fulsome flavours of the cake.