Our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson shares her recipe for an apple cake that's as easy as it is scrumptious.
It’s the time of year when the boughs and branches of apple trees are either heaving with fruit, or have just given up their crop.
And while it’s possible, if you’re careful, to store apples for quite a while, it’s always good to have ways to make the most of what you’ve grown straight away.
‘A glut of apples brings sweet and crisp flavours to the autumn kitchen,’ says our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson.
Apple nachos are one such idea. Core and thinly slice three apples and arrange on a serving plate, then melt four tablespoons of peanut butter and drizzle it decoratively over the apple slices.
Scatter over a handful each of chocolate chips or buttons, shredded coconut, chopped nuts — such as almonds or walnuts — and sultanas, then finish with a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkling of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Serve as a healthy and entirely delicious snack.
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If you’re looking for something that will fit in more easily as part of a traditional afternoon tea, however, an apple cake can’t be beaten. Here’s how to make one without breaking sweat.
Recipe: Apple and Almond Cake
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 3 free range eggs
- 1tspn vanilla-bean paste
- 120ml milk
- 125g self-raising flour
- 125g ground almonds
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tart apples, such as ‘Braeburn’, peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
- 2tbspn apricot jam, warmed
- 50g flaked almonds, toasted
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/350˚F/gas mark 4 . Grease and line a 25cm (10in) loose-bottomed cake tin. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, beating between each addition, followed by the vanilla and milk. Pour in the flour, ground almonds and salt and mix to just combine.
Pour into the prepared tin, then arrange the sliced apple halves on top and bake for 50–55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Take the cake from the oven and brush with the warm apricot jam. Once it is cool enough to handle, remove from the tin, scatter with the almonds and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or ice cream.
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