IT IS apple season again, and Jeff sends me some cake recipes from the United States, which evoke the beautiful New England illustrations of childhood books. In his honour, I am using American measurements.
Applesauce cake can be cooled and cut into pieces for tea or elevenses, or served hot from the oven as a pudding. (Remember that American cups are 8 fl. oz., not 10 fl. oz.)
1 cup apple purée
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sunflower oil
1¾ cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon powdered cloves
½ cup raisins
½ cup nuts, broken
Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4, and line a 22cm (9 in.) cake tin with parchment. Mix the apple purée, sugar, and oil very well. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and spices together, and stir into the apple mixture. Add the raisins and nuts, and pour the mixture into the tin. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes.
Upside-down apple gingerbread can work well as a cake or a pudding, but use your less-windfallen apples for this.
1½ cups flour
⅓ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup boiling water
½ cup molasses
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup sugar
Heat the oven to 325°F/170°C/Gas 3, and butter a 20/22cm (8/9 in.) square cake tin or casserole dish. Make the topping first by preparing plenty of apple slices. Melt the butter and sugar together very gently, and pour the result into the base of the tin. Arrange the apple slices on top.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt together. Melt the butter, water, and molasses together. Combine the two mixtures to make a batter, and pour this over the apple slices. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until it is nicely springy.
This makes a lovely Sunday breakfast, and goes well with cream cheese.
To make roasted apples, a light, seasonal change from roast potatoes, peel, quarter, and core (or core, peel, etc., if you must: I find that a standard corer fails to remove all the “toenails” while taking out a fair bit of decent apple) a dish of dessert apples to roast in the oven with a belated Michaelmas goose or duck.
Melt ¼ cup of butter, ½ cup of redcurrant jelly, and ¼ cup of red-wine vinegar or cider vinegar, and pour over the apples, rolling them gently about in the mixture.
Roast for about 20 minutes, basting well from time to time while they are cooking.