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Friday 9 August 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Summer Cider Apple Pudding

It's August, and that means that it's time for three things: festivals, weddings and dancing. In this season of making hay in whatever patches of sunshine we can muster, there is one must-have accessory that will see us glide joyfully from occasion to occasion.

CIDER. In all guises, rough and ready, sparkling and sophisticated, fruity, dry, home-made with bits of twig and dead mice floating in it... You name it, it's cider season. So what better than to have a cake to match? I'm spoilt; living in Bristol, we have a whole shop just dedicated to the stuff. I wanted a medium-sweet cider so I went for Oliver's 'Making Hay', but a drive into your local countryside should yield a couple of farm shops selling off drums of boozy apple goodness.

What's more, this pudding is so easy, you can make it when off your face in your sleep. Crack it open, m'luvver.

Summer Cider Apple Pudding
You will need:
For the cider apples:
  • 1 large apple, peeled and sliced
  • 50ml good-quality still cider
For the cake:
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 50g roughly chopped nuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
  • 100g butter
  • 50ml cider
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped into chunks
Make it!
The cider apples:
  1. Place the sliced apples in a shallow saucepan with just enough cider to cover them.
  2. Poach over a low heat for 10 minutes, until the cider has reduced away and the apples are soft, but still retain their shape. 
  3. Set aside to cool.
The cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20cm cake tin (springform or silicon).
  2. Place the flour, sugar and nuts in a bowl and stir together. 
  3. Soften the butter until almost melted and tip into the flour mixture. 
  4. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the cider, egg and cinnamon.
  5. Pour into the rest of the ingredients, along with the apple chunks, and stir until evenly distributed. 
  6. Spoon half of the batter into the tin and smooth over. 
  7. Arrange the cider apples into a layer over the top of the batter, spreading out but stopping 1 inch short of the edge. 
  8. Top with the remaining batter, smoothing out the top. 
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted into the batter comes out clean. 
  10. Cool for a minute or two in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack. 
  11. Poke some holes in the top of the cake and spoon over a few tablespoons of cider to soak in... before drinking the rest. 
  12. Eat warm with clotted cream or custard or BOTH. 

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