Last week, after a great deal of hunting, my mum and I found my nan’s recipe for apple cake.
I wanted to make it, not just because – after years of not being able to eat apples, I can now eat them if they are cooked first – but because cooking this particular cake reminds me of childhood baking sessions with Nan in her small kitchen in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.
Having posted some photographs of the finished cake on social media last weekend, I promised to share the recipe here.
The original recipe idea came from Good Housekeeping – but was then adapted by Nan into a cake that was very much her own. Thinking back, I don’t think she ever stuck to a cooking book recipe in her life. In fact, I don’t actually remember her weighing anything out. Nan always seemed to know how much things weighted by sight!
I’m not so adventurous – so all weights of ingredients are mentioned below.
2 medium/large eggs
9 oz caster sugar or light brown sugar
4 oz butter
1/4 pint milk
6 1/2 oz plain flour (six and a half ounces)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (to personal taste)
2-3 cooking apples (Bramley)
2- 3 oz sultanas (optional)
Cook at 200.C of Gas mark 6 for 25 mins.
Use a 20×30 cm roasting tin/brownie tin. (Greased. Line base with baking paper)
Whisk the eggs and 8oz of the sugar. Stop whisking once the mixture is creamy and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted from the liquid. Leave to one side.
Weigh out the flour. Add the baking powder and half the cinnamon. Sieve the powdered mixture into a bowl. Leave to one side.
Put the butter and milk into a saucepan. Bring it to the boil. Take it off the heat. Immediately stir in the egg and sugar mixture. Add in the powder mix – folding it slowly into the liquid making a batter. Fold carefully until there are no lumps.
Fold in the sultanas if using them.
Pour the mixture into the tin.
Peel and core the apples. Slice them into thin slices. Arrange these slices across the top of the batter, until the top is covered. You can double layer the apple.
Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the apples. (Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon over the top if required.)
Bake in the oven.
The cake will be cooked when it is well risen and golden. A skewer/slim knife should come out clean when inserted into cake, to see if it’s baked right through.
Let the cake cool within the tin before removing it.
Cut into squares.
Enjoy as it is or with cream/ice cream/custard.
Happy cooking, eating.