Friday, 11 November 2016

Apple, Date and Ginger Cake

I often fall back on this recipe when what I'd really like is a fruit pie, but either I haven't got time to make pastry, or it just seems too much effort. The fruit filling is infinitely variable, depending on season and availability - this time I used the last of the small eating apples from our own trees, a handful of dates and a couple of tablespoons of ginger preserves. Once the fruit is prepared the dough can be made, and the cake assembled, in about 10 minutes.The only time things get less simple is if the fruit produces a lot of juice when cooked - then it really needs cooking in advance, draining and cooling.

Ingredients
peeled cored and sliced eating apples - about 400g after preparation
50-100g chopped dried dates (or sultanas)
100g ginger preserves
150g butter
150g caster sugar
1 large egg
300g SR flour

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Prepare a 20cm(8") springform tin - I grease the tin, then line the base with baking parchment.
Mix the fruit and preserves in a small bowl and set aside. (I usually stand the sliced apples in acidulated water for a few minutes during preparation, then drain well before mixing in the dried fruit and preserves.)
Melt the butter, either in the microwave or in a pan on the hob. It doesn't need to be hot - just liquified. Transfer to a large mixing bowl if necessary, then mix in the caster sugar, followed by the egg. When these are mixed to a smooth paste, sift in the flour and stir in thoroughly to make a soft dough - it will be softer than pastry, and still quite sticky.
Put 2/3 of the dough into the base of the springform tin and spread evenly, using fingers.  At the edge of the tin raise the dough to make a small wall about 2cm high - this will help to enclose any fruit juices.
Spread the prepared fruit over the dough.
Break small pieces from the remaining dough and place on top of the fruit, trying to get a fairly even coverage. Flatten the pieces of dough, to get them to join up - they may not completely cover the fruit, but the dough will spread during baking. There's a picture here of a similar cake, during assembly, to illustrate things.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is golden and the cake feels firm. Cool in the pan before removing the sides.
Dust with icing sugar before serving, if liked.

I seem to have posted a lot of apple recipes this autumn, but my store of home-grown apples is finished now, so this is probably the last apple-y bake for a while!

1 comment:

belleau kitchen said...

oh god that looks good... so chunky and hearty. Bet it would be amazing with whipped cream!