Joan made this delicious cake following a trip to the Ampleforth apple orchard in October, but it can be made at any time with some tart English apples.
Makes ten generous slices.
150g caster sugar
2tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp grated lemon zest
250ml sunflower oil
250g plain flour, sifted
2tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp cardamom seeds, crushed (optional)
1tsp vanilla essence
500g tart apples, peeled cored, sliced
For the topping:
50g hazelnuts or cobnuts, roughly crushed
50g Demerara sugar
Preheat oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. Grease and line a 23cm baking tin with baking parchment.
Beat the eggs and 50g caster sugar with an electric beater for 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and foamy. Mix the lemon juice, lemon zest with the remaining 100g of caster sugar and gradually beat this into the egg and sugar mixture. Dribble the sunflower oil into the foam and continue to beat. Fold the baking powder, spices and sultanas into mix which now resembles a thick batter
Place half the batter into the baking tin and arrange with half the sliced apples. Cover with remaining batter. Arrange the remaining apples over the top and scatter with a mixture of crushed hazelnuts and Demerara sugar. Bake for 1 hour, turn off heat, partly open the door, and leave the cake to cool in the oven. Dust with vanilla sugar if you have some.