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  • Seasonal local food recipe No 66: Westcountry apple cake

    Posted on October 15th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    This is one of those Cornish cake recipes that I’ve been making for years but can’t remember where it came from.

    I remember baking it for tea on my older daughter’s first birthday. She went off to university earlier this month and I’ve continued to serve this cake up regularly in the intervening years – including last Sunday at Camel CSA’s apple harvest.

    Use cooking apples or dessert apples with attitude – like the Lord Hindlip variety in Camel CSA’s veg boxes.

    Serves 8

    Preparation and cooking: 1 hour 20 minutes

    175g butter or margarine
    175g soft brown sugar
    3 large eggs
    225g self-raising flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 large cooking apples  
    ½ teaspoon vanilla essence or ground cinnamon
    lemon juice 
    Demerara sugar for sprinkling

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Lightly grease a square or round 18cm tin and line the base with baking paper.

    Peel, core and dice the apples into small pieces. Sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to prevent them discolouring.

    Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Fold in the sieved flour, baking powder and vanilla or cinnamon. Then carefully stir in the diced apple.

    Scoop the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the surface with a dessertspoon of demerara sugar. Bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a rack.

    It’s delicious served lukewarm – maybe with some Cornish clotted cream.

  • Bumper apple harvest for our juicing fest on Sunday

    Posted on October 10th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    Pick, pick, pick… we’ve harvested a record number of apples for our annual Cornish apple juicing event next Sunday.

    Our team of adults and children filled every container available with this year’s huge glut of fruit from our adopted orchard in St Mabyn.

    Some of the apple trees in the garden and old orchard are really quite unusual. They include delicious dessert varieties like Lord Hindlip and Gascoyne’s Scarlet as well as the familiar cooker Bramley’s Seedling and the cider apple Tom Putt.

    Many thanks to apple pickers Aimee, Brooke, Charlotte, Fiona, Jerry, Lani, Lily, Mark M, Mike S, Paul, Ros, Sammy, Shayne and Teresa, whose joint efforts were rewarded with large quantities of homemade Westcountry apple cake.

    The best of the dessert specimens and some of the cookers will go in Camel CSA’s veg boxes next week. The rest will be turned into apple juice at our juicing fest.

    This is happening next Sunday 17 October from 10 am – 12.30 pm on Camel CSA’s vegetable plot next to St Kew Harvest Farm Shop, at St Kew Highway in north Cornwall.

    It follows the success of last year’s event which involved lots of families. Everyone will be able to join in washing, cutting up, crushing and pressing the apples. Age is no barrier!

    You’ll also have the opportunity to taste the different varieties of apples on Sunday. It’s just one of many Apple Day events taking place across the country.

    This year we’ve managed to borrow three traditionally-made Vigo hand-operated apple presses and crushers, all of which require a team of volunteers to operate them.

    It’s a great opportunity to get to know fellow members and local food enthusiasts. So please do come along and join in the fun.