Mum left a bucket of home-fallen apples with me after her last London scamper. I abandoned them in bowl too long, where they met a near soft and sorry end. The only rescue was a long stew.
Stewed for porridge, stewed for my parsnip soup, and stewed for this cake. Perked up and pretty.
for the stewed apple
Peel, core and chop all the apples in your bucket (10 is a good number). Small crunchy apples are best. Place the apples in a large saucepan and set on a medium heat. Add a tsp light brown sugar, a tbsp water and stir. Leave to bubble with the lid on. When soft and sweetened, mash the apples and strain through a sieve (optional). I like to leave them slightly sharp.
for the cake
140g soft, unsalted butter
50g stewed apple
250g light brown soft sugar
10ml elderflower cordial/apple juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp quatres epices
2 large eggs
220g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
50g natural yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/ Gas mark 3. Grease two 8in/20cm cake tins and line with bottom with baking parchment.
Melt 10g of the butter in a saucepan and add the stewed apple. Add 50g of the sugar, the juice/cordial and the spices. Fry until the apple begins to caramelise.
Beat the rest of the sugar and butter together until soft, light and fluffy. Add the first egg and mix through. Then do the same with the second.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the creamed batter. Fold them through until evenly mixed.
Stir in the yoghurt and the spiced stewed apple.
Divide the batter equally between the tins and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
When the time is up, the cakes should be golden brown. Check if cooked through with a skewer. If the skewer comes away clean, the cake is done. Leave to cool on a baking tray.
Use some of the leftover stewed apple to fill the middle of the cake, and some to pour over the top. Alternatively, make a butter and yoghurt icing with a touch of elderflower cordial and spread over the bottom layer of the cake: 150g unsalted butter, 30g natural yoghurt, drizzle cordial and 300g icing sugar.
The cake should turn out light and moist. Best served warm for tea.