This recipe was given to me by a friend, Lindsay, so she should really take the credit, but I have adapted it to make best use of seasonal fruit from my allotment. It creates a lovely rich cake but it’s not too extravagant with ingredients.
All these versions work well as a tea-time cake, but the cake is also good served warm as a pudding, with crème fraiche, natural yoghurt or whipped cream. The fruit helps keep it moist – but for this reason you need to eat it up within a couple of days as it won’t keep well!
225g/8oz self-raising flour
225g/8oz caster sugar (or you can use half muscovado sugar)
2 large eggs
1 tsp almond essence
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
675g/1.5lb cooking apples, chopped
Grease and line the base of a springform cake tin or a square baking dish (20cm or larger).
Melt butter in pan or microwave, mix with flour, sugar, eggs, almond essence and baking powder.
Stir in fruit, pour mixture into tin, scatter with flaked almonds.
Bake at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F for between 40 minutes and 1 hour (until apple is tender or a skewer comes out clean).
Leave to cool in pan before removing, dust with sifted icing sugar.
You can also make this cake with 450g/1lb rhubarb. Swap almond for vanilla essence and leave out the flaked almonds, or my current favourite is to make this as rhubarb and ginger cake – add 1 tsp of ground ginger to the cake mixture and some chopped stem ginger to the fruit. Sprinkle with brown/demerara sugar before baking.
I have also made the cake with raspberries (fresh or frozen, no need to defrost), substituting 100g of the flour for ground almonds, keeping the almond essence and the scattering of flaked almonds.