Many of you will by know by now that OH loves anything with apples – pies, puddings, crumbles and of course this cake.
What I like about this is that it’s got apples, raisins, orange juice and lemon in it, so there are four of your five a day right there in a slice of cake. If you care to serve it with cream and a slosh of homemade Pear Liqueur you have your five a day
I can´t remember where I found the original recipe but it is on a scrap of paper torn from a magazine (probably something I did while sitting in the dentist or hairdressers). I have had it a long time, I know that because it is so faded and covered in splatters of cake mix that it is very hard to read … but here goes.
Ingredients – Servings: 6-8
5fl oz orange juice (fresh or from a carton)
8oz plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6oz soft margarine
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°. Grease a loose bottom cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
- Soak the sultanas in the orange juice for about 30 minutes, and cover the apples in water to stop from discolouring.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl.
- Cream the sugar and margarine until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating as you go.
- Fold in the dry ingredients, the lemon zest and the chopped apples.
- Stir in the soaked sultanas, along with any remaining juice.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for approx 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
What comes out of the oven is a thing of beauty, perfectly golden and infusing the house with the smell of apple and cinnamon. Cool in the tin, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve with a blob of cream flavoured with Pear liqueur.
DIY Pear Liqueur
Mathilde and Xante Pear liqueurs are both lovely with a strong flavour of pears but they are around £20 a bottle and in all honesty how often do you drink a fruit liqueur except perhaps around Christmas time. So here is my version which will keep for up to 2 months and you can adapt the taste to suit yourself. It is easy, cheap and in my opinion as good as the store-bought stuff. If you have a pretty bottle you could also give it as a present to your friends who like the odd tipple or just those who have a sweet tooth.
2 ripe pears,
1 vanilla pod
1/4 pint brandy
4 oz sugar
1/4 pint water
- Wash and chop one pear, discarding the seeds and core. Leave the skin on. Split and scrape the vanilla pod.
- Place the pear and the vanilla pod in a screw top jar and cover with brandy. The jar should have enough room to add the same amount of liquid later in the process. Seal and shake, then leave for 2 days. Remove vanilla pod and leave for another 3 days.
- Chop the second pear, discarding the seeds and core. Add it to a saucepan, along with the water and sugar, then stir and bring to the boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Let the syrup mixture cool.
- Once cooled, pour with the fruit into the glass jar. Shake and let stand for a further 2 days. Taste, and if desired flavour is achieved, strain and pour into a fresh bottle or jar.
Note:.You can substitute another spirit for brandy or replace the vanilla with another spice like ginger or a cinnamon stick.