Yes, I know apples aren’t a very springtime fruit, but I don’t seem to have anything local and seasonal in the fruit department yet. No rhubarb, no Scottish berries, not even a British apple to be had in my local supermarket today. Yes, I know, I should have shopped at the farmers’ market – but I needed to do one of those monster shops, with all sorts of store cupboard and cleaning staples, so the supermarket got my custom today.
It’s a glorious sunny day today here in the Clyde valley. Glorious and sunny in that peculiarly Scottish way of also being what you might call ‘a bit fresh’. I call it chilly. So I pootled about for a few minutes in the garden, just to check that everything was doing as it should, then watered everything in the deliciously warm greenhouse, and then decided it was time to bake a cake.
I’d thought of a hazelnut sort of a cake, but had no hazelnuts in the cupboard so that wasn’t going to happen. Then I’d thought of something with some lemon for springtime zestiness, some ground almonds for moistness, and perhaps an apple or two just for fun.
So, here we have it Springtime Apple Cake
Preheat your oven to 160C / Gas 4
Grease a 23cm deep cake tin
- 3 apples – I used braeburns, and it will need something with a bit of crunch to it, and a slight sharpness. Cooking apples would be fine too
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 225g softened butter
- 3 medium eggs
- 200g SR flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Peel and dice the apples, into wee chunks, about 1cm max. Drop them in a bowl with the lemon juice and stir them up a wee bit to coat them all in juice – this will stop them going brown while you do the rest of the cake making. It’ll give a nice zesty flavour too
- Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together till you get a good light fluff of a mixture
- Add the eggs one at a time. Add a wee bit of flour after each egg if the mixture is showing signs of splitting
- Fold in the sifted dry ingredients
- Stir in the apple chunks
- Dollop the mixture into the cake tin, and level the mixture.
- Cook for about an hour. If it smells too burny burny, then put it onto a lower shelf, or cover it with greaseproof paper to stop the top burning.
- To test if it’s ready, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and pull it out again. If it’s covered in soft cake batter it’s not ready, if it’s clean it’s ready. Yay!
- Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Dredge with caster sugar, and serve warm with creme fraiche. Or on its own.
You may be interested to know that if you are counting weightwatcher points (as I am currently) then if you slice this cake into 10 pieces (which I think is easily do-able) each slice has 9 points. That’s without your dollop of creme fraiche. An apple with no cake wrapped round it would be 0 points. But where would the fun be in that?