In the garden of our old cottage we had a magnificent Bramley Apple tree and could smell the blossom from our bedroom window. In summer we had long, lazy lunches in the shade of the branches. By Autumn we had boxes and boxes of apples. After giving buckets away to friends and making apple puree, we were left with the fallen apples which were bruised and battered but so large that I couldn’t bear to waste them. This cake is the perfect solution because you can just cut the apples higgledy piggledy into the mix. Quick and easy, I make a batch of 4 at a time and they freeze beautifully. Delicious cold with a cup of tea, or warm with cream as a pudding. I change the recipe all the time, adding almonds or coconut, changing the milk for apple juice, adding berries to the mix. It is not a smart cake, but it is so adaptable and has become a family staple. We don’t live at the cottage any more, but I still make the Fallen Apple Cakes at Compton House. This year I used smaller Discovery apples from my Mothers orchard, with great success, slightly acidic but crisp and juicy.
225 g Bramley apples Big pinch cinnamon or ground spice
350 self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
25g soft brown sugar
150g margarine or butter
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Pre heat the oven to 180c, 250F, gas 4. Use a deep 8” cake tin, lined with baking parchment and well greased. Peel and roughly cut the apples into chunky pieces, and roll in the brown sugar and spice. Sometimes I add a little lemon juice to stop them going brown. In a large bowl put all the other ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until everything is blended and a good consistency, not to stiff, not too sloppy. Add the apples to the mix, and pour into the cake tin. Scatter some brown sugar on the top and flaked almonds if you like. Cover the cake with foil. Put the cake in the oven on a baking tray on the middle shelf for approximately 1 ¼ hours (75 mins). About half way through take the foil off so the top gets brown and crunchy and turn the oven down to 160c, 325F, gas 3. Put a skewer through the cake to see if it is cooked, and leave the cake in the tin to cool, this keeps it moist. Or serve straight away with thick yogurt, cream or custard. The smell is heavenly!