Fruit: Lemon, Apple or Orange Cake

All of these fruity cakes can be served simply as an accompaniment to a cup of coffee or dressed up with cream or yogurt as a special dessert. Either way they’ll taste delicious.

The orange cake is a particularly moist one that will keep well and actually tastes better when it’s a day old rather than perfectly fresh. The apple cake takes a bit more work but the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ you’ll hear when you bring it out will make the effort worthwhile and the lemon cake makes a simple and deliciously sweet treat at any time.

Warm Lemon Syrup Cake

  • 225g (8oz) soft margarine
  • 4 lemons
  • 400g (14oz) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and base-line an 8” tin.

Sieve the flour and set aside. Finely grate the rind of 2 of the lemons. Squeeze and set aside the juice of 3 lemons. Squeeze the remaining lemon – you’ll need 2 tablespoons of juice from it.

Cream together the margarine, lemon rind and 225g (8oz) caster sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs beating well after each addition. Fold in the sifted flour and stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour or until Golden and Firm.

Meanwhile make the syrup. Place the remaining sugar in a saucepan with the juice of the 3 lemons and 75ml (3fl oz) water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves and then bring to the boil. Let it boil for about a minute.

Turn the cake out onto a serving dish and pierce holes all over it with a skewer. Slowly pour the syrup over and then leave it for about 30 minutes to soak in.

Orange And Almond Cake

  • 1 orange
  • ½ lemon
  • 40g (1½ oz) breadcrumbs
  • 275g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 85g (3½oz) ground almonds
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 200ml (7fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • cinnamon stick

Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Grease and base-line an 8” tin.

Finely grate the zest from the orange and the half lemon and squeeze out the juice. Set aside.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, 200g (7oz) caster sugar, almonds and baking powder. Add the oil and eggs. Beat well. Finally stir in the grated zest. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile make a syrup by heating the fruit juice with the cinnamon stick and the remaining sugar. Bring to the boil gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

When the cake is cooked allow it to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then turn out onto a serving plate. Pierce holes all over with a skewer and pour the syrup over. Leave it to soak up all the syrup and serve warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or thick Greek yogurt.

Lattice Apple Cake

This is a great autumn favourite – especially good for using up an apple glut.

  • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g (5oz) butter, softened
  • 75g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 350g (12oz) cooking apples
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
  • icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Grease and base-line a deep 8” tin. Sieve together the flour and salt and set aside.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg beating well after each addition. Fold in the sifted flour. On a floured surface, shape ¾ of the dough to fit inside the tin.

Peel, core and slice the apples into a bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice before arranging the slices on top of the cake base in the tin. Gently heat the jam and brush it over the apple slices. Sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Using floured hands, carefully roll the remaining dough into strips to create a lattice over the apples.

Bake for about 1 hour. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Dredge with Icing Sugar. Can be served warm or cold, with pouring cream or custard or on its own.

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