Laura Pashby, of Circle Of Pine Trees, shares with us her favourite Autumn bake: the perfect cosy-weekend comfort food.
“There seems to be an apple tree in every other garden in our small Gloucestershire town. At this time of year, people leave baskets of windfall apples outside their houses for passersby with signs reading ‘help yourself’. It’s a kind tradition that makes apples taste all the sweeter. A bowl of windfalls is a permanent fixture in my autumnal kitchen: I use them for breakfasts – or bake crumbles and cookies during the week – but, when the weekend arrives, it’s time for a Windfall Apple Cake.”
“A quiet, unhurried potter in the kitchen – with the radio on, and the sunlight softly falling onto the table – is a calming balm to soothe away the stresses of a busy week. This is a simple apple cake which is slathered in irresistible maple caramel icing. Weekend afternoons were made for a hot cup of tea and a slice of this.”
For the cake:
175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 windfall (or other eating) apples
For the icing:
125g soft butter
200g icing sugar
110g light brown soft sugar (packed)
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
SHOP: Porto Stoneware Heart Dinner Plate £22
Method for the cake:
- Bring the ingredients to room temperature. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and butter a deep 20cm cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
- In a stand-alone mixer (or by hand) cream the butter and sugar, then beat until pale.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Peel and core the apples and chop roughly into small pieces.
- Fold the flour into the mixture until combined.
- Stir through the apples.
- Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and level the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack for five minutes then remove from the tin and leave to cool while you make the icing.
Method for the icing:
- Beat the butter until soft and smooth.
- Beat in the sugars.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract, then beat again.
- Slowly add the milk and beat for two-three minutes.
When the cake is completely cool, slather the icing on top and swirl.
Autumn is the perfect time for baking: discover more recipes here.