This cake is a variation on Ottolenghi’s beautiful Amaretto and Pear cake from their Cookbook which I tried originally a few weeks ago. In fact this is the third version of this cake I have made so far.
I used Egremont Russets as well as some of the Red Pippins both from the three graft family apple tree at the bottom of our garden. They are lovely apples but the Russets in particular don’t store very well, so as always at this time of year I have to think of ways to use them up.
Not so long ago I said I didn’t like cakes made with oil. This one however is just perfect so I eat my words, or maybe, just another slice…. I made a double batch and have put three loaf cakes by for another day, as they freeze well.
The walnuts together with the cinamon can give the cake a warm pinky tinge so if you don’t like this colour then leave the walnuts out or maybe consider using hazelnuts.
I also made a variation on this cake using 180 g of dark chocolate chips in the mixture and no cinammon with pears and amaretti and adding a dessertspoon of cocoa to the crumble topping which was very delicious too: I made little half pound cakes with this version and they took about 40 minutes to bake, but I did put eight tins in the oven at the same time. It’s a very flexible recipe.
There are a fair few bowls involved, which is why each time I make it I double up the quantities and make extra cakes to give away or freeze, plus I have loads of apples to use up.
The original recipe has been blogged by Moveable Feasts here and converted to cups .
With the peelings from the apples I am having an experiment at making apple cider vinegar along with a whole gang of fans of Carl’s Llyn Lines blog. I have Sandor Katz’s wonderful book but I am spurred to action by Carl who is a great experimenter. Misk is also doing the cider vinegar experiments and you can read about them here on her funny and witty blog. I am very fond of apple cider vinegar in chutney making, particularly of a variety of balsamic apple vinegar made by Aspall. I don’t think mine will be as good as that, but if this jar turns into vinegar that is usable I will be very pleased. In the meantime, cake anyone?
Now what shall I do with the rest of my apples….
PS For home made vanilla extract, there is a perfect description here of the process.