One of our favourite food blogs is Deb Perelman’s at Smitten Kitchen. Her tag is ‘fearless cooking from tiny kitchen in New York City’. It couldn’t get much further removed from our gaffs (a draughty, ancient hovel on the moors in my case and a chic, contemporary town house in Jill’s) but we love her take on pretty much everything, in particular cake. I’ve had a go at lots of her recipes – this was afters last Sunday. It’s easy, looks great, tastes brilliant. It’s pretty much a direct lift from her website. She’s married to a Russian, and it’s her mother-in-law’s take on the classic Apple Charlotte.
6 large tart apples, Bramleys or Granny Smiths
3 large eggs
200g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
Ground cinnamon and icing sugar, to finish
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 9 inch springform tin with greased parchment. Peel, halve and core your apples then chop them into medium size chunks. Pile them into the tin. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth, preferably with an electric whisk. Add the vanilla, then stir in the flour. The batter will be very thick. Pour it over the apples. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 mins then check it’s not burning. If it’s starting to brown, cover with a foil hat and resume cooking for another 15 or 20 mins. Check it’s cooked with a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s done. Leave it in the tin for 10 mins, then remove and let it cool completely on a rack. Dust with the cinnamon and icing sugar. Best served warm with a dollop of crème fraiche. Or nibbled cold when you think no-one’s looking (Jill, I sussed you, you’ve got to get up earlier than that to catch me .. )