Apple cake is one of our absolute favourites. It brings back reassuring childhood memories of Sunday afternoon tea with granny in the autumn, making the most of the apple harvest from the garden. Our version is made with einkorn flour, maple syrup, warming spices and lots of apple.
pinch of salt
120g (41⁄2oz) softened butter, plus extra for greasing
150ml (5fl oz) maple syrup, or 150g (5 ½oz) dark muscovado sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
300g (10oz) einkorn flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra
2 tsp baking powder
150ml (5fl oz) almond milk
1 tbsp rum
750g (1lb 10oz) apples (about four apples), peeled, quartered, and cored
2 tbsp apricot jam, 70 per cent fruit content
1. Preheat the oven to 185°C (365°F / Gas 4 ½).
2. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites and salt in a bowl with an electric whisk until still.
3. In another bowl, cream the butter for several minutes until pale, then add the maple syrup and egg yolks, stir everything together, then add the vanilla seeds. Combine the flour, spices, and baking powder and gradually add to the mix, alternating with the almond milk and rum and mixing everything gently.
4. Finally, gently fold in the egg whites with a balloon whisk. Make parallel incisions in each apple quarter.
5. Grease a springform tin (diameter 26cm /10 ½in) and dust with some of the flour. Transfer the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface, and arrange the apple quarters on top.
6. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until risen and golden brown. When an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready.
7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
8. Heat the apricot jam in a pan over a low heat and use this to brush the cake while it is still warm. Finally, sprinkle with a little cinnamon and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Extracted from Natural Baking by Carolin Strothe and Sebastian Keitel, published by DK, priced £12.99