Sunday, 31 July 2011

Cider crumble slice

To some people, apples conjure up an Autumnal feeling.
However, I saw on the BBC news this week that English apples are being picked now, in July, and it’s the earliest they’ve been harvestable for decades. It’s probably something to do with the odd sunshine-and-showers (ok, downpours) summer we’re having but I got distracted by images of lovely apples and forgot to listen to “the science bit”!

In tribute to English apples, I decided to make this traybake; however, there’s a small confession that I couldn’t find any for sale yet (I guess picking takes a while!) so have used imported Granny Smiths.
I make no secret that apple is my favourite fruit to bake with – I love the flavour, the texture, and the look of it.

Cider works so well in cakes – it adds a warm, well rounded, fruitiness to any cake and doesn’t have a harsh alcoholic flavour. I used an oak matured still cider made by H. Weston & Sons
based in Much Marcle, Herefordshire. They’ve been making cider since 1880 so – as you’d imagine – it was pretty good stuff! Much Marcle is a brilliant name; it sounds like it would be a kind hearted character in a Dickens novel.

Buy good cider, it really is worth the extra money, particularly when it will flavour the whole cake. Plus, this recipe only uses 150ml whereas bottles tend to be want something decent to polish off!

I’ve used sultanas and walnuts, but you could substitute raisins, or even dates if you wished, and I’m sure any nut would work!
Apple’s so versatile that there are few other fruits or nuts it won’t compliment.


For the cake:

20g unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons golden syrup
150ml cider
250g self raising flour
½ teaspoon ground ginger
45g soft brown sugar
75g sultanas
75g walnuts, chopped
1 egg

For the topping:

1 large Granny Smith apple – or any other tart eating apple
40g unsalted butter
2 ½ tablespoons caster sugar
60g plain flour
75g walnuts, chopped

Optional: a dusting of icing sugar before serving
Thick cream


Preheat the oven to 170˚C/fan oven 150˚C/325˚F/Gas mark 3.

Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with baking paper. I used a disposable tin traybake cases and used spray on cake release.

Start by making the cake: place the butter and golden syrup into a saucepan and melt together over a gentle heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cider – put to one side.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, ginger, sugar, sultanas and walnuts.

Add the golden syrup mixture along with the egg and stir until well combined.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Now make the topping: peel, core and chop the apple into rough chunks about 1.5 cm big.

In a saucepan (use one larger than you need just for the butter as the other ingredients will be added) melt the butter then stir in the sugar, flour, chopped apple and walnuts. It will be a dry mix.

Spread this topping over the cake batter already in the baking tin – I found this easiest to do by hand.

Level the surface then bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Mine took exactly 30 minutes.

Leave to cool in the baking tin, on a wire rack.

A dusting of icing sugar just before serving really “pretties them up”!

Serve in generous squares with thick cream.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.



Jacqueline said...

Mmmmmmmm, I am liking the sound of this traybake. Would never have thought to add cider, but of course it would work well with apples and Weston's cider is particularly good.

Perdita said...

Cider traybake you say?? Mmm. Might have to make this for my cider loving chum, it's her birthday coming up!

Kate@katescakesandbakes said...

Cider in a cake AND some to toast the genius of this cake? Gotta be loving that! Roll on the Autumn and more appley-cakey-treats

Anonymous said...

look and sound utterly delicious!! I am going to Herefordshire this week and will have to bring back some cider.

Lisa Shannon said...

Oh this looks lovely. We always drive through Much Marcle (pronounced with a mad country sounding accent) on our way to Cornwall, I never knew they made a cider there - will definately stop off next time.

Vintage Amethyst said...

MMmmmm this looks soooo scrummy!

C said...

Sounds great, I've yet to try cider and apple as a combo in a cake, but I love apple cakes so this sounds lovely!

Is there really just 20g butter in there!!!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi C

Yes, there's just 20g - I can see why you'd query it, but it's not a typo

Happy baking

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

cider in a cake must me the best thing in the world!

Trash said...

I should imagine 'Much Markle' was quite often serving up cider crumble slice to the waifs & strays that she regularly collected from the streets of London. I feel that under her mop cap is a well-polished halo. Bless her.

freerangegirl said...

Looks absolutely delicious x

Cakelaw said...

I adore a good apple bake - this one looks fabulous. And with cider for a little zing - perfect!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love this recipe. I make so many crisps and crumbles with the summer fruit around here, I need new ideas. When our New England apples come in I'll definitely give this a try.

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

This sounds amazing...I have a lovely bottle of Cornish Cyder in my cupboard.....

sarita said... have the Kastehelmi collection from Iittala!
my sister took my mother's green version collection before i could get my mitts on it :( but i have now been given the clear version also!! BIG smiles...nothing makes a cake better than eating it off of something pretty! :D hehe x

I heart cupcakes said...

This looks amazing and perfect for the apples I plan to scrump from the tree across the way! Fabulous! And left over cider after you've made it - result

Baking Addict said...

Wow looks amazing especially with the cream! The addition of cider is a brilliant idea. Bookmarking to try.

Pauline said...

Looks delicious totally agree with you on the Granny smiths! Have also been experimenting with cider AND beer in cake, knew we were on the same wavelength, hic :-)

Maggie said...

For me this would be a great excuse to buy some fabulous cider. Wonderful traybake.

Gloria said...

Look delicious!! gloria

morri said...

I decided to be super-productive and bake two cakes this weekend instead of one (that, and the weather outside didn't encourage going out much).

The batter turned out insanely sticky: I barely managed to spread it on my baking tray, because it stuck to the spoons, hands, baking paper and everything like crazy glue. After that it was pretty much smooth sailing. The cake grew taller than I anticipated, and the cider gave it a great slight-and-mellow-but-still-aromatic punch. Awesome. What surprised me about this crumble was that it was very restrained in the sweetness department - perfect if you're treating someone who loves cakes, but doesn't have much of a sweet tooth (like my Mum).

If I could change one thing, though? For a tray this size I'd double the amount of crumbs (butter, sugar and flour) while keeping the cake/apple ratio. Maybe it's because I love crumbs so much, but I got the feeling that with the cake being so hearty and flavoursome, and the apples being, y'know, apples, the poor crumbs sort of get disappear along the way.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Morri

Yes, if you love crumb by all means double it. Personally, I always love the apple-y bits!

Happy baking