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Author Notes: When you think of apple cake, think of this: sticky, sweet chunks of moist apple nestling among rum-soaked sultanas and orange-scented zest; toffee-oozing juices bringing succulent memories of Fall harvests and spiced autumnal festivals. This recipe has been in my old, handwritten notes for as long as I can remember. It originates from a time of wassailing, when traditional rituals were held in honour of the apple trees to insure a good crop in the coming summer months. —amerrierworld
Serves 16 to 20
- 3 ounces seedless sultanas
- 100 milliliters dark rum
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 5 ounces castor sugar
- 2 ounces light muscovado sugar
- 7 ounces peeled, cored and diced apple (1 medium Bramley apple)
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces eggs, weighed without shells (3 medium eggs)
- 5 ounces plain (all purpose) flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Put the sultanas in a small bowl and cover with the rum. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F / gas mark 4 with a rack set in the centre of the oven.
- Grease and base-line a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake pan.
- Melt the butter and sugars together in a small saucepan (or in the microwave, stirring frequently) until smooth and runny.
- Place the melted butter and sugars together with the apple, grated orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat to combine.
- Add the eggs gradually, beating after each addition to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
- Drain the sultanas well and reserve the rum (set aside). Add the sultanas to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. A tester inserted into the centre of the cake should have few crumbs attached when removed (it is a moist cake, so the tester will not be completely clean). Remove from the oven.
- Let the cake stand in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a wire rack.
- Brush the top of the cake with a small amount of the reserved rum. Cool on the wire rack before slicing and serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Apple Cake