The apples are falling off my trees as fast as I can core, peel, slice and bag them for freezing. At this time of year, when you’ve apples galore, try recipes like this which are extremely generous with the fruit; a cake crammed with them will be darkly moist and juicy.
Freshly ground black pepper and a tiny pinch of cayenne lift the cinnamon in this cake and somehow make the apples taste all the more applesome. I’ve made a cream cheese icing for no other reason that that it’s my favourite. If you want to try something different, try a buttercream icing with two teaspoons of ground cinnamon worked through it instead.
4 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced into ½-inch squares
4 oz softened butter
4 fl oz (8 tablespoons) milk
1 lb castor sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 twists of the pepper grinder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 lb flour
8 oz cream cheese
10 oz icing sugar
Place all the cake ingredients except the apples in a large bowl, and mix thoroughly using a hand blender or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. When the ingredients are well blended, add the apple chunks to the bowl and combine with the other ingredients. Pour everything into a greased springform tin, and bake at 180° C for an hour. After an hour, test with a skewer (if the skewer comes out sticky, the cake is not finished). When the cake is cooked, set aside to cool.
Blend the cream cheese and icing sugar and spread over the surface of the cake when it has cooled. This cake is especially nice in the afternoon with a big cup of tea.