Apple cake with streusel topping
Delicious any time of year, this recipe was dreamt up in Winter in remembrance of snowy days during a relentless grey and dreary January. Each year, for many years, our little family has visited a favourite restaurant in a cosy wooden cabin, usually buried deep in snow and hidden half from view, on the French/Italian border. We usually steal a march on the lunchtime trade by dropping by late morning for a warming drink and a slice of the best apple cake I have ever tasted. We take our treasure and savour it en plein air, under the bluest of blue skies. In lieu of that for now, and hankering as I am for those bright, sunny, carefree days, I have baked my own version. It's close but I'm not sure anything will be quite up to the memory (it really is the BEST cake!). Perhaps I just need the snow under my feet, the warmth of the sun on my face and my lungs full of the that crisp, clean Alpine air...
(Makes one round cake, 23cm-27cm diameter, or 20cm-23cm square tin )
For the caramelised apples:
3 dessert apples, sharp and crisp (eg English Cox), peeled, cored and cut into chunks
20g brown sugar
For the streusel topping:
50g salted butter, room temperature
75g self-raising flour
50g demerara sugar
75g pecans, roughly chopped
For the cake batter:
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
250g golden caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
150g Greek yoghurt
Zest ½ lemon
A quick, easy and versatile flat bread, the tortilla can be used for wraps, dips, quesadillas etc. They can be rustled up for an emergency lunch or supper without planning ahead of time which make them super useful when you feel like you're feeding the five thousand and really can't face another trip to the shops! No need for fancy equipment like a tortilla press - these will be easily rolled with a rolling pin as the wheat flour produces an elastic dough. Tortilla presses are used for traditional corn tortillas which are naturally gluten free and have no such elasticity.
Feel free to use all plain flour if you have no wholemeal in the cupboard.
Finally, for best results use lard (or vegetable shortening) but you can use butter if you don't have any to hand.
We like to use up old sourdough starter in our bakery recipe, but if you don't keep a starter, replace the starter with 75g of extra water plus 75g of extra white flour. This is an almost instant recipe — ready and baked in little more than half an hour, but you can keep the dough wrapped in the fridge for 2-3 days. It is not strictly unleavened, as we use a little baking powder which supplies a little lift on the griddle, giving a lighter, almost flakier, layered tortilla.
(Makes 6 tortillas)
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
15g lard (or vegetable shortening)
150g liquid starter (unrefreshed, but not too acidic. Ideally, 2-3 days old)*
*or substitute 75g flour + 75g water
Our workshops are run by award-winning sourdough baker Helen Underwood.