Autumn doesn’t officially start until 23rd September this year but for me autumn starts when I go blackberry and apple harvesting on our annual holiday up to the Lake District.
I was a bit disappointed with the blackberries there this year as they weren’t quite ready but you can always rely on Grange Community Orchard to produce a bounty of apples ready for harvesting. This year was no exception, they have plenty of variety of apples ready from August through to October and a good mix of cooking and eating.
We tend to find ones that have naturally fallen but have not been eaten by the bugs or we take a couple per tree by twisting and if they are ripe they should come away easily.
When I have collected enough (not too many, you want other people to enjoy them too) I take them home, peel, core, chop and put them into the freezer for use at a later date.
I keep some apples to make a delicious apple cake straight away though that to me takes like autumn.
Here is how I make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan and grease an 8 inch loose-bottom cake tin if needed.
2. Cream 150g of muscovado sugar and 175g of butter together.
3. Beat in 3 eggs one at a time.
4. Peel, core and slice apples so that you can throw 200g of the apples and 100g of sultanas into the wet mix.
5. Sift into the wet mix 175g of self-raising flour and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and stir to combine.
6. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and arrange some small apple slices on the top making a nice pattern like a fan around the cake.
7. Sprinkle with approx. 2 teaspoons demerara sugar and then bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Check it is cooked throughout but make sure it does not burn.
This should serve about 8 people and is great on its own or heated up with custard (of course).
I have tried other apple cakes and they are nice, I wouldn’t say no, but this is a very yummy apple cake.
The cinnamon isn’t too powerful but gives a nice warmth to the apples and it keeps well being so moist.
I have tried it replacing the sultanas with blackberries and that worked too but was even more moist so would need to be cooked for longer and a lower quantity of fruit used.
So far I have made 1 cake with my Grange harvest but I am sure I will make many more of this delicious apple cake throughout the Autumn and I hope you do too!