My sister and mother left for a trip to Italy which has made the house a little more empty and I have had some more time to bake/cook this week than I normally do.  Somehow I have managed to crank out this cake, banana carrot bread, sweet corn arepas, and some cookies.

The summer also affords me with the excuse to expand my cookbook collection and do some quality beach reading.  Recently,  I acquired Jane Grigson’s Fruit book.  Jane Grigson was an eminent English food and cookbook writer whose prose surrounding descriptions of fruits and what to do with them rival that of M.F.K. Fisher.  Sweet and savory recipes are abound in this thick paperback but my eyes settled upon a recipe intended for pears encased in a thin swath of cake batter baked to a golden brown.  Unseasonably, I had some apples and oranges in my fruit basket and made some other substitutions with lay around in my kitchen with an end result of a fragrant but slightly sweet and tart moist cake studded with chunks of apples.  I served it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and have had it for breakfast and dessert equally.

The batter would work splendidly as a backdrop for any seasonal fruit and this recipe has gotten me thinking for the next time I bake with it.  Adding nuts, infusing it with herbs, and using different nut oils (almond/walnut) in place of the butter are all things that could be played with.  Enjoy!

Apple Cake

1 lb. apples (Granny Smith or another good baking apple) peeled, cored, and cubed
1 orange, zested and juiced
7 rounded tablespoons of spelt flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 c. butter (1/2 of a stick)
1 tblsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F

Peel, core, and cube apples.  Put into a non-reactive bowl, add zest and juice to apples and toss to coat.

In a large bowl, mix the spelt flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, butter, and milk and stir to combine.  Add the apples.  Pour into a buttered 8 inch round pan and bake for about an hour.