September and October are the months to make apple cake and whatever your orchard or farm shop yields, be they Bramley, Laxton, Discovery, Cox’s or Russett apples, this recipe showcases the fruit in a beautifully rich, dark, sweet cake that can be served for tea or dinner parties. You can also ring the changes and use pears instead, or add raisins or even grated nutmeg. If you do not have any Amaretto di Saronno in your drinks cabinet, you could always use Madeira, Sherry or sweet pudding wine instead. Served with fresh cream or even ice cream, this is a classic winner everytime.
Ingredients to make a 24 cm cake
225 g. Farina 00 Italian flour, or just plain flour
225 g. unsalted butter, soft
225 g. brown sugar
500 g. of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thin slices
100ml. of Amaretto di Saronno Liqueur
1 vanilla pod, with the seeds removed and set aside.
zest of an unwaxed lemon
3 free range eggs, beaten
1 heaped tsp. of baking powder
Icing sugar for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 180 Degrees C. Butter and line a 24 cm. cake tin with baking parchment.
In an electic mixer. cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Sprinkle the apple slices with the Amaretto liqueur, and, using a spoon, mix them well so that they are coated completely.
Add the beaten eggs, the vanilla seeds and grated lemon zest to the cake mixing bowl. Little by little add the flour with the baking powder, and then three quarters of the apple slices. Mix all the ingredients very well together.
Spoon the cake mix into the prepared cake tin, and use a spatula to even the top. Place the remaining apple slices evenly on the top of the cake. Place the cake tin on a baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for a total of one hour. Check the cake after 45 minutes, and if the top is already brown, then place a foil over the cake tin.
Cool the cake on a wire rack, and then dust with icing sugar.