There’s something necessary about a cake at this time of year when skies are grey and the days seem short. The other day I went out into the garden and picked some of the large cooking apples from the tree which had turned a beautiful shade of red and decided to make a cake with them for my mother. It turned out really well and was also quite a hit on Instagram so, by popular request, here’s the recipe from an old edition of Brigitte. It’s really a cinch to make and I love how the sweetness of the marzipan is balanced out by the sharpness of the apples.
100g/ 1/2 cup sugar
200g/ 14 tablespoons soft, unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
150g/ 1 and a quarter cups plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
800g/ 1 and three quarters pound apples
30g/1/4 cup cornflour
2 tablespoons apricot jam
50g/1/2 cup amaretti biscuits
1. Roughly grate the marzipan and mix with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and beat everything together in the mixer. Beat in the eggs and almond essence.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Fold in the marzipan mixture.
3. Peel, core and chop half the apples into quarters. Cut each quarter into slices.
4. Peel and core the rest of the apples and cut into small pieces.
5. Stir the diced apples into the cake batter. Roughly crumble the amaretti and add half the crumbs to the mixture.
6. Take the remaining apple slices and arrange attractively on top in a circular pattern (you can also make several small circles if you prefer).
7. Bake on the middle shelf in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes. You may find like I did that after half the baking time is up, the cake is quite brown on top and needs to be covered with tin foil for the remaining time.
8. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
9. Immediately warm the apricot jam until bubbling. Brush over the hot cake and sprinkle over the remaining amaretti crumbs.
10. Leave to cool completely before taking out of the tin. The cake keeps very well for a few days at room temperature when wrapped in foil or clingfilm.