Pam Corbin's Apple Cake
You should be able to throw this homely country cake together easily, since it uses ingredients that we usually have in our kitchens. You can make it with cooking or dessert apples, whichever is to hand. To peel or not to peel? For new season’s apples, I’d say leave the skins on, but older or waxy-skinned ones are best peeled.
For the Cake:
125g self-raising white flour
125g self-raising wholemeal flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1.2 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of sea salt
125g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
125g soft brown sugar
350g cored apples (prepared weight)
1 egg, beaten
For the topping:
1 small eating apple (ideally re-skinned, cored but not peeled)
1 tbsp caster sugar
23cm round loose-bottomed or springform tin, or a 20cm square loose-bottomed tin, greased and base-lined with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Sift the first six ingredients into a large bowl and mix well together. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles medium breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Cut the apples into 1cm dice and toss lightly in the rubbed-in mixture until evenly distributed. Add the egg and milk and bring the mix together with a wooden spoon to a sticky, lumpy dough. Spoon into the prepared tin and level with the back of the spoon.
For the topping, cut the apple across into 7 or 8 slices and poke out any residual pips embedded in the flesh. Lay the apple slices on top of the cake. Sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over the mixture and apples (to give the cake a lovely crisp topping).
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown, firm and crispy to the touch. Leave in the tin for 20-30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. This cake will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight tin in a cool place,
Special day apple cake: soak 125g sultanas in a little brandy and add to the mix with the chopped apple. Sprinkle 2 tbsp flaked almonds over the top before baking.
© From “Cakes”, published March 2011 (Bloomsbury Publishing)