The first lot of this season's apple came my way through the kindness of my colleague Colin and his wife. They were nice enough to give me a big shopping bagful of these wonderful tart apples. At first I thought they were Bramleys but upon slicing it and taking a bite it looks like a cross between a Bramley and a Granny Smith. The size and the outside looks very much like a Bramley. The main difference is that you can eat it raw unlike the Bramley, which although excellent as a cooking apple, is virtually inedible in its raw state. Colin didn't have a clue on this variety's actual name. He did say that they use it for both baking and as a dessert apple. Thanks to them we've got a more than enough for several cakes and pies which will definitely not go amiss with my son.
I seem to have the habit lately of doing the cover dish in the BBC GoodFood magazine. The October 2006 provided the recipe of which the only procedure to slow you down is the peeling, coring and slicing of the apples. The cake is more of the pudding type - stodgy, dense, and quite filling. I like the fact that it's not very sweet and jam-packed with this season's fruits.
Apple & Blackberry Cake
175 g butter - softened
300 g plain flour
4 tart cooking apples - Bramleys, Granny Smith, etc. (about 800gm/1lb 12oz)
a squeeze of lemon juice
284 ml carton whipping cream or double cream
225 g [1 cup] golden caster sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling
300 g fresh blackberries
- Butter a 12-inch x 8-inch pan (30cm x 20cm) or a 13-inch x 9-inch (33cm x 23cm) oval pan. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.
- Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a bowl and toss in lemon juice to stop it from going brown. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, put cream and butter. Bring to boil in medium heat. Set aside.
- Beat sugar and eggs in a big bowl for about 3 minutes or until thick.
- Add in the cream mixture and beat until well combined.
- Fold in flour with a metal spoon until smooth.
- Pour in the prepared pan.
- Put slices of apple on top, making some of them to sink a little into the batter.
- Scatter blackberries over the apples.
- Sprinkle the sugar on top.
- Bake for 50 minutes until golden and pulling away from sides.