Mr Colonial Cravings and I have recently enjoyed an amazing road trip to New England. One of my favourite places was Vermont, famous for maple syrup (don’t worry there’ll be some recipes coming up using that) and apples. Delicious crisp, sweet apples and they’re wonderful at this time of year.
The apple sauce in this bake keeps the cake wonderfully moist, the oats give it great texture and the spices make it feel lovely and autumnal.
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp oil
2 medium apples
1 tsp sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
2-3 tbsp water
115g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
grating of nutmeg
pinch of salt
50g ground almonds
150ml buttermilk or milk with a squeeze of lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp honey
1 medium apple (unpeeled & thinly sliced just before using)
Make the granola by warming the oil and honey and mixing this with the oats. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake at 170°c for 20 minutes, turning half way through. Leave this to cool and become crisp. Turn up the oven to 180°c .
Whilst the granola is baking you can make the apple sauce mix. Peel 2 of the apples, chop one quite finely and leave the other a bit more chunky. Put them in a small saucepan with a squeeze of lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Let this simmer until you have a chunky applesauce. Leave this to cool.
For the sponge cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the flour, raising agents and spices. Add the salt and the ground almonds and stir it all together.
In a separate bowl or jug whisk together the buttermilk (or milk), honey, vanilla and eggs. Mix in the apple sauce and then stir the whole lot into the dry ingredients. This makes quite a wet batter. Finally stir through the granola, keeping a little back to scatter over the top.
Pour half of the mixture into a 20cm tin, lined with baking paper. Layer on a few slices of the remaining apple before pouring over the rest of the batter. Top with more of the apple slices and the last of the granola. Bake for around 55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and it feels springy to the touch. Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 10 minutes and sprinkle the top with a little sugar.
This is really good served warm with a dollop of creme fraiche for dessert.