This flavourful Dorset apple cake is simple to make, delicious, and beautifully moist from chunks of apple. Add a dollop of cream for a real treat!
The cliché that you need a holiday to recover from a holiday is a truth for me. I find flying both exhausting and exasperating. It’s the endless hanging around that gets to us: waiting for the bus from the car park, going through security, waiting for the plane, waiting for the luggage. There’s a wonderful freedom to staying in the UK and just flinging everything in a car and setting off to take a holiday; bucket and spade fashion, at the seaside in a self-catering cottage. Taking the car also means no limits on luggage so all the comforts of home (mainly tech) can be packed in the back.
There are so many other advantages to renting a cottage too. Yes, it’s not quite the lap of luxury offered by a hot-and-cold-running-flunkies hotel, but I find it a lot more relaxing not to have an audience when I’m on holiday, and being able to do things like meander down to breakfast in a dressing gown and not be tied to a hotel dining room timetable.
Having your own kitchen when you are away means you can buy your pick of the fresh local food. A few years ago we bought freshly caught fish nearly every day from a fishmonger on the beach, who was supplied by the village day boats, then we cooked it in our cottage. One night we popped to the local pub, and having decided to book for dinner the next night for Ed’s birthday, we ordered a lobster. It turned out the local lobster man was at the bar, and our supper was duly ordered then and there from him. Not the experience, or connection you get to your food when staying in a hotel, and we enjoyed our lobster so much more having met the man who caught it.
Using cottages.com, it’s easy to find your perfect self catering holiday cottage, and see what you’re getting for your money, and having browsed the site we are dreaming of selling up and moving to the countryside. All their cottages are graded and inspected to Visit Britain and Visit Scotland standards so you can be assured of a comfortable stay.
Images of properties on cottages.com
For our holidays in the UK we almost always head west, to Devon, Cornwall or Dorset enjoy a combination of exploring the local countryside, discovering quality local food producers, and overindulging in cream teas (paying, of course, close attention to the cream or jam first shibboleth). The West Country is also the home to many orchards with a consequent diversity in the ways to enjoy an apple from ripe perfection straight off the tree to juice, cider, or as we’ve made here, in a traditional Dorset Apple Cake. It’s a straightforward recipe: mix the ingredients (with no need for a mixer) and bake and can be whipped up with little notice, so it’s a real winner in the taste vs time stakes. What bliss to find ourselves somewhere like one of these cottages, with a slice of freshly baked cake and lashings of cream.
- 1 1/2` cups self-raising flour (225g)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (115g) diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar (115g)
- 1 large egg beaten
- 6-8 tbsp milk
- 2 cups Bramley or Granny Smith apple (225g) peeled, cored and diced
- 2/3 cup sultana (100g)
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar optional
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
Mix the flour and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingers, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the light brown sugar. Beat in the egg followed by 6 - 8 tbsp of milk – you want to achieve a smooth, thick batter.
Add the apples and sultanas and mix to combine. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and gently level out. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool further. Best served still warm with a little custard.
We substituted chopped apricots for the sultanas, and topped with a few flaked almonds.
For more regional British bakes you might enjoy on your self catering cottage holiday why not try
- Ceri’s Welsh Bara Brith
- Claire’s Scottish Tunnocks Teacakes Rocky Road
- Cathy’s Kent Oast Cakes
- Choclette’s Cornish Splits
- Emily’s Bakewell Tart
Post featuring the Dorset Apple Cake commissioned by cottages.com. All opinions our own.