I’ve never made an apple cake before but it’s autumnlike and blustery and it seemed like a good time. I threw pears into the shopping basket too and when at home, wondered if they wouldn’t work well together, with the right augmentation.
According to Niki Segnit, author of the Flavour Thesaurus, apple can contain surprising elements such as nutmeg and anise, as well as nutty notes near the core which can be reminiscent of almond. She flags apple and pear as a very well established pairing, and quince is another pome fruit. That she credits with apple, pear, rose and honey tastes. Hence the roundabout inspiration for this cake. It’s an adaptation of a recipe by Allegra McEvedy which was in the Guardian, which I went for mainly because of the quick prep and cooking time. It turned out to almost more like a clafoutis than a cake but I thought calling it that would just confuse matters. Not that I encourage this sort of thing, but I imagine it would work well with a dollop of cream and a grating of nutmeg. Or some thin, rich, eggy homemade custard.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 175C. I used a 25cm square tin, and spray oil to grease it.
- 3 eggs, preferably organic
- 150g caster sugar
- 250g flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 150g butter
- 240ml water
- 1 large Bramley apple, chopped
- 2 large Conference pears, chopped
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp Rose Essence
- Light brown sugar to garnish
- Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick
- Sift in the flour and baking powder, using a whisk to mix gently until incorporated
- Melt the butter and honey in the water and add in the mixture
- Drop the fruit into the batter
- Shake sugar over the top
- Bake for 40-50 mins until a cake tester comes out clean, and leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins
- Slice around the edges to free the cake, then upside it onto a plate and flip again so the apples are on top
You may want to tone down the rose but it seemed to go down well with the Baked Goods Tester Panel so I’ve left the quantities as I made it.