Sunday, 1 September 2019
Apple bundt cake
September is a great time to enjoy the harvest. We have five apple trees in the garden. Two of them are "having a break" this year, bearing no fruit, but last year we had so many apples, I was running out of trays and cardboard boxes to keep them over winter. This year the crop is more manageable, which is good.
One of the younger trees is a Golden Delicious apple. My Mum and I bought it in the garden centre about 4 years ago. This year it produced around a dozen of beautiful apples. I've already eaten one, and it was crispy and sweet.
Two old apple trees have been in the garden for many years. I don't know who or when has planted them, these people are probably long gone, but I'm sure they would rejoice, if they knew how fruitful these apple trees are.
They are a late variety, best picked at the end of September or early October. At first, they are pretty sharp and sour, reminding me of Granny Smith's but after keeping in the summerhouse for a month or two, they mellow in taste, turn yellow and become rather sweet.
Yesterday morning I ventured in the garden and picked a few windfalls from the grass.
After watching the first episode of GBBO last Tuesday, I fancied baking a fruit cake (they had some tasty-looking fruit cakes as their first task to complete).
My sons are not very keen on "proper" fruitcakes, which are packed with dried fruit, so my cake is a bit of a compromise, a hybrid of a fruitcake with a Russian apple cake Sharlotka.
It's a pretty easy cake, and wouldn't have scored many points at the GBBO challenge, as it's not decorated, but I rarely decorate the cakes, preferring just to add a bit of icing sugar or plain lemon icing. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the beautifully decorated cakes, like, for example, an exquisite Wedgwood Cake, baked by Anca at CookStyle. Her creation is a true showstopper.
Apple bundt cake
2 medium apples (about 370g in weight together)
200g caster sugar (or less, if apples are sweet)
60g dried apricots, chopped
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground cloves
vanilla (I used freshly grated)
1tsp baking powder
3 medium eggs
300g self-raising flour
185g butter, melted
In a medium sized mixing bowl grate one apple (peeled before), and mix with sugar. Peel and finely chop another apple and add to the mix together with chopped apricots (softer variety; if they are too dried, then soak them in a bit of warm water in advance).
Add all the spices and baking powder. I used a vanilla grater, but 1tsp of vanilla paste or essence is fine as well.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift in the flour, and mix well.
Finally melt the butter, let it cool a bit, and add to the cake batter, mixing carefully.
Brush the bundt cake tin with melted butter or use a cooking oil spray. Scoop the cake batter in the tin, and place the tin in the oven preheated to 180C.
Bake for 40+ minutes. Check the readiness with a wooden toothpick. If your tin is of a different variety, it might take longer.
Also adjust the amount of sugar, depending on the apples you use. The sour/tart apples need more sugar, the dessert/sweet apples will require less sugar.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 5-10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack. Dust the cake with the icing sugar.
Serve warm or cold, with tea or coffee. For an indulgent treat, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or caramel sauce.
If you're looking for more baking recipes with the apples, try any of the following:
Belgian Apple Tart
Apple and Raisin Cake
Apple Semolina Cake
If it's the fruitcakes you're more interested in, may I tempt you with:
Boiled Fruit and walnut cake
Fruitcake for Mma Ramotswe