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
16 to 20
light muscovado sugar
peeled, cored and diced apple (1 medium Bramley apple)
grated orange zest
eggs, weighed without shells (3 medium eggs)
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.