Somehow or other, this Anzac weekend ended up being a 'let's bake with apples' weekend. And before you conjure up images of baskets and baskets of apples being turned into assorted baked goodies, I actually only had 2 apples and with these two apples, I made two very different things. Here's what I baked after a lazy sleep in on Sunday morning with one of the apples...
Preheat oven to 150 degrees (fan bake). Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper. It really does pay to take the time to trace and cut the baking paper so that it fits the tin perfectly. The baked product ends up looking a lot nicer around the edges and you'll spend less time getting angry at a piece of baking paper that keeps popping out of the tin when you just go and squish it in.
Beat 150g softened unsalted butter and 150g caster sugar together in a large bowl with an electric whisk until smooth, light and fluffy.
Add 2 beaten eggs one at a time, stirring well between each addition. Stir in 150g ground almonds, 50g plain flour and 1 tsp baking powder. Then stir in the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 100ml full cream milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface.
Slice up 1 medium sized red eating apple (remove the core). Arrange the slices evenly over the top of the loaf.
Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, until the cake has risen and is golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack. (Trust me, you'll need that extra 20 minutes in the warm tin for the cake to do its last bit of cooking so don't be in a rush to take the cake out of the tin too soon).
Last but not least, dust with icing sugar if you are that way inclined. I prefer not to as it means less sugar ( I figure I eat enough sugar as it is!) And well, it goes with out saying that this cake should be stored in an airtight container in a cool cupboard or in the fridge. The recipe recommends you eat this cake within 2 days.
Whilst the cake was cooling down, I actually ducked upstairs to read and when I came back down, nearly thought that a rat had got to it as the edge of the cake had gone. Turns out my brother had got to it before me and well, he's given his stamp of approval. I rather like this loaf myself - it's extremely moist and looks ever so pretty coming out of the oven. FYI: Recipe is from 'Cakes & Bakes from my mother's kitchen' by Linda Collister.