Sunday, 22 August 2010

Apple Cake

We have a cooking apple tree in our garden and this afternoon the children and I decided to do a bit of scumping (in so much as it is possible to scump from yourself). I held the branches and gave them a shake while Daisy and Mabel excitedly ran around under the tree picking up the plump green fallen apples. Once we’d filled the pall, we all scurried inside and set about pealing in earnest.

About an hour and a half later the result was the most delicious English Apple Cake I have ever tasted. It smelt of late summers days, golden sweet and warm.

I sat in the garden with a glass of ice cold cider and ate a slice.

Then I had another…

Dolly Dolly’s English Apple Cake


1 large Bramley apple, about 225g (scumped if poss!)
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp mixed spice
125g cold butter, diced
125g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for dredging
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 medium eggs, beaten (we have our own chickens, so it felt extra home made)


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5 and lightly grease a 20cm springform cake tin. Peel the apple, cut into quarters and remove the core. Reserve one of the apple quarters and dice the rest.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl. Rub in the diced butter to form fine breadcrumbs.

3. Stir in the sugar, diced apple and lemon zest, then gradually stir in the beaten eggs to form a stiff mixture. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Thinly slice the reserved apple quarter and arrange on top of the cake so they look nice.

4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until springy to the touch. Dredge with the remaining sugar, then leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely, then slice and serve with clotted cream if you're feeling bold. 


  1. I'm taking a copy of this, to hopefully try during the week. There's a whole nostalgia about baking and it's smells and tastes. I got my love of baking through watching my gran baking... apple cakes! She used to concoct wonders for WI meetings back in the day, a master of traditional cake baking.

    We've got some sourdough starter 'starting' as I type and we've been quite partial to churning our own ice cream of late... but I'm heartened to see the love of baking still exists within the DDolly household, as well as the Jb household.

    I raise my glass!


  2. Sweet. I grow mushrooms. It's very rewarding, but not quite as Summery.

  3. Ah, got any mushroom soup recipes,Paul?

  4. Very impressed with you starting your 'starter' Jonny. Been thinking about it for a while now. Bread making is one of life's greatest simple pleasures. Have been making my own bread for about ten years now (sans machine). Nothing nicer than the house filled with the smell of baking bread. - Have never tried sourdough though.

  5. I'm not much of a cook, I'm afraid. Mrs. U-W made some incredible soup last year but I don't think she wrote down the details. She's a bit like Jackson Pollock in the kitchen - undoubtedly a genius, but it's all squiggly and instinctive:)

  6. I'm very much reminded of the old classic bero books..
    Mrs O still uses her mum's old bero books to this day. Simple but effective. This particular dish reminds me of winter... Aaaah...