Autumn is definitely turning into winter, but it’s not too late to enjoy a lot of Autumn’s most comforting and delicious produce. Apples are a jewel in the crown of the season’s crop, and we’re lucky enough to have some growing in our (very modest) orchard.
This is one of our favourite apple recipes, which will bring warmth to the coldest evenings.
Apple Upside Down Cake
90g unsalted butter, at room temperature plus an extra genrous knob of butter
2 cooking apples (Bramley work very well), peeled and sliced into thin slices
250g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
160g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 180C
Melt a generous knob of butter in a 25cm pie dish. Once melted, remove from the oven and arrange the apple slices in a pretty pattern on the bottom of the dish. (That’s the part that will be showing!)
Melt 200g of caster sugar in the water in a saucepan over a high heat. Cook until it turns a warm amber colour. (If you have a sugar thermometer it should read about 182C.) Swirl the pan but don’t stir the mixture. Pour the caramel over the apple slices.
Mix the 90g butter, the remaining150g caster sugar and 100g of soft brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy. (An electric mixer will make this a much faster job.) Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture gradually. Mix until just combined.
Pour the batter over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Its is ready when a knife comes out clean. Leave to cool just slightly.
Turn out onto a plate. (Put an upside down plate over the top of the dish, and using both hands, flip it).
Dust with icing sugar.
From humble and rustic apple cake to an elegant and delicate canape. Crab and apple Melba toasts will be something special to enhance any drinks party. This mixture will make about 40 generous canapés.
Crab and Apple Canapés
1 Granny Smith apple (or any green eating apple) peeled and grated
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
500g crab meat (A mixture of white and brown meat is nicest)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper
Big handful of coriander, chopped
A dash or two of Tabasco (if you like heat!)
Start by pouring half of the lemon juice over the grated apple, to stop it from discolouring.
Mix the rest of the ingredients together (making sure there are no bits of shell in the crab, and that the white meat is flaked nicely.)
Divide the mixture onto Melba toasts and serve immediately to avoid making the toast soggy. They look especially lovely with extra chopped coriander sprinkled on top.
Of course you can buy the Melba toasts – but they’re very easy to make, and look and taste so lovely I think it’s worth the extra minimal effort.
Heat the the grill to high. Get some white, sliced bread on a baking tray and toast on both sides until just toasted. Cut the crusts off the toast, then cut through the middle of each slice horizontally, leaving you with two thin slices. Cut each of these into 4 triangles.
Put the triangles (non toasted side up) on the baking tray and place back under the grill to brown. They should curl up slightly. Allow to cool before topping with the crab mixture.