These pink ladies can top off a wonderful cake
It seems to have been a particularly good season for apples this winter. My personal favourite, the pink lady, is a crisp and tasty fruit that is not too sweet. It's also perfect for topping a delicious apple cake.
As always, when baking a cake, you need to take into consideration the colour of your cake tin. A dark grey tin will brown the outside of a cake faster that a silver tin, so adjust the temperature of your oven accordingly. It's also preferable to bake this cake on the middle rack of the oven so the apples don't brown too much either. I like to dust the still-warm cake with a little sifted icing sugar; you could brush it with a little warmed jam if you prefer.
2 Pink Lady apples; juice of a lemon; 125g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for preparing tin; 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar; 1 tsp vanilla paste or essence; pinch of ground cinnamon; 2 large free-range eggs; 1 cup self-raising flour; 1/2 cup plain flour, plus extra for preparing tin; 3/4 cup milk; a little icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 180C (or 170C if you have a dark-coloured cake tin). Grease and lightly flour base and sides of a spring-form cake tin; shake tin upside-down to remove excess flour.
Peel and core apples and cut into thin wedges; drop into a bowl of water with the juice of a lemon to prevent browning.
Place butter, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl and beat using an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined. If the mixture "splits" (looks curdled) don't be concerned.
Sift flour into bowl and add milk; fold in until just combined. Pour batter into prepared tin. Drain apples well and arrange on the top of the batter in overlapping circles.
Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Keep in the cake tin for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and leave to cool on a rack. Dust cake with a little icing sugar and serve with cream.