1 bag or 6 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 bag or 6 eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
85g caster sugar
100g sultanas or raisins
100g soft light brown sugar
250g pack butter
300g plain flour
Cook the apples with the caster sugar in a large pan, stirring occasionally – add a splash of water if they start to stick on the bottom. When just about tender and a bit saucy, stir in the sultanas or raisins and tip into 2 large ovenproof dishes.
Melt the brown sugar, honey and butter together in a large pan. Off the heat, stir in the oats, flour, almonds and cinnamon until sticky and crumbly. Divide over the apples. To bake straight away, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 then bake for 40-50 mins until topping is golden and crisp. To freeze, wrap dishes well or freeze the fruit and crumble mixture in separate freezer bags if you don’t have spare baking dishes. To cook from frozen, cover with foil and bake at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 1½ hrs, then turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/gas 8 and bake for a further 45 mins, removing the foil for the last 15 mins.
Toffee Apple Cake
200g dates, roughly chopped
200ml milk, plus a splash
250g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
280g self-raising flour
200g light soft brown sugar
½ tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
1 tbsp mixed spice
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 small red apples
squeeze lemon juice
handful of toffees
a little icing sugar, for dusting
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tray with baking parchment. Put the dates and milk in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside for 15 mins to cool.
Whizz the date mixture to a smooth purée in a food processor or blender, then scrape into a large mixing bowl. Tip in the butter, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, mixed spice and vanilla, and set aside while you prepare the apples.
Quarter and core the apples, then slice quite thinly, tossing in a little lemon juice as you go. Quickly beat together the cake ingredients with an electric whisk until smooth, then scrape into the baking tray. Arrange the apple slices, overlapping in rows, on top of the cake – you should be able to get 3 rows lengthways down the tray. Bake for 45-50 mins until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tray.
Put the toffees in a small pan with a good splash of milk and gently melt, stirring, until runny. To finish, dust with a little icing sugar, then drizzle sauce all over the cake. Cut into squares or slices to serve.