Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Enough Already with the Apple Cakes!

November 11, 2021 by General Administrator

This, I promise, will be the last apple cake, at least for 2021. Why all the cakes? Because each is so distinctive, and because there are a lot of apples about at present. This one is rich, buttery and deeply flavourful, the best of the lot, says Matt. Because it contains apples, raisins and marmalade, I think it qualifies as breakfast food.

Chunky Apple and Marmalade Cake
Hugh F-W claims this serves 8-10.

Photo from River Cottage HQ on Facebook

3 tablespoons whisky
100g raisins or sultanas
100g ground almonds
175g plain wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3-4 large eating apples (about 500g in total)
200g butter, softened
200g soft dark brown or dark muscovado sugar
3 eggs
150g orange marmalade
25g demerara sugar (to sprinkle on the top)

Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter a 20cm springform pan.

Warm the whisky in a small pan. When it is warm add the raisins or sultanas and leave them to soak while you prepare the cake. You could probably do this equally well using a microwave.

Combine the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well to combine.
Peel the apples, if you wish, cut out the cores, and either slice into thick slices or cut into 1cm chunks. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until it becomes fluffy and noticeably paler in colour. You want this to be light, not heavy at all, so give it time.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Add a spoonful of the flour mixture with each egg, and beat well after each addition.

Fold in the remaining flour.

Put the marmalade in a small bowl and stir it vigorously with a fork to loosen it, and then add it to the cake mixture.

Add the raisins, whisky and apples and turn the mixture into the cake pan.

Scatter the demerara sugar over the top and bake for about 1¼ hours, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turn out and leave to cool on a rack.

Recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Fruit Every Day! (2013).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: An unusual Apple Cake

October 28, 2021 by General Administrator

Here is a different sort of apple cake. Unlike the Apple Spice Cake of a fortnight ago, this one uses yeast. But don’t panic! It’s very easy and doesn’t require any kneading. The result is somewhere between a bread and a cake; it’s very moist, and is good toasted.

Using yeast to leaven a cake is an old practice. Before the invention of bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in the nineteenth century, eggs provided one way to create a light texture. Yeast was another. Many traditional English cakes were originally leavened with yeast. This loaf is heavier than a typical cake, but still crumbly—see what you think!

Apple Loaf – makes 1 large loaf

If you don’t have a set of cup measures, don’t worry. 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces, so you can use an ordinary measuring jug.


1 tablespoon dried yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water or apple juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup runny honey
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 cups wholewheat plain flour (use white flour, or a mixture, if you prefer)
2 cups apples, cut into small (¼-inch) pieces—fine to leave unpeeled
½ cup nuts, toasted in a dry pan and coarsely chopped (optional)
¼ cup raisins or chopped dates (optional)


Oil a loaf pan and set it aside. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water or juice. Leave to one side for 5 minutes, or until it starts to bubble a bit. (If it doesn’t bubble, your yeast is probably dead.)

Combine the oil, honey, eggs, salt, spices, vanilla and zest in a large bowl and mix well. If you have stand mixer use it to beat the mixture for 5 minutes, for added lightness.

Stir in the yeasty water/juice.

Add the flour and stir well to combine.

Stir in the apples and optional nuts and raisins (if used).

Turn into the oiled loaf pan and leave to rise for 1-2 hours, or until about double. When it’s nearly there preheat the oven to 180C.

When the oven is hot put in the loaf and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester emerges clean. Leave to cool and eat with butter for breakfast. It’s nice toasted.

Recipe adapted from Edward Espe Brown, The Tassajara Bread Book (1970).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Apple Spice Cake

October 14, 2021 by General Administrator

This moist apple cake uses oil in place of butter, which makes it exceptionally tender and probably also lower in cholesterol. It offers a perfect autumnal blend of fresh apples, spices and walnuts, and is very nice with a cup of tea. It keeps very well, should you somehow not eat it all in the first 48 hours.

If you don’t have a set of cup measures, don’t worry. 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces, so you can use an ordinary measuring jug.

1¼ cups vegetable oil
2 cups brown sugar (any mix of soft brown sugar, light muscovado, and dark muscovado)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups plain white flour, or 2 cups plain white flour and 1 cup plain wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar + 2 tablespoons water (or 3 tablespoons water)
3 cups chopped apples (peeled or not, as you prefer, cut into whatever sizes you’d like to find in your cake)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter or oil a 10-inch Bundt pan, or similar tube pan. Coat the pan with a light dusting of flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the oil and sugar for 5 minutes, or until thick. This is a good use of your stand mixer if you have one. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after adding each one. Add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices).

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and water.

Fold in the chopped apples and nuts.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for an hour, or until the cake is golden brown, smells lovely, and is pulling away from the widest part of the pan.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a rack. Leave to cool more or eat it right away.

Recipe adapted from Moosewood Collective, Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most Requested Naturally Delicious Recipes from One of America’s Best-loved Restaurants (2013).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Apples for breakfast

October 8, 2021 by General Administrator

This week we’ll be getting a good number of apples, so looking for an alternative to apple crumble I’ve come across an idea for a porridge topping. Add some vanilla essence to the porridge to round it off!

Brown sugar apples for porridge

Image from

2 apples (preferably red), cored, cut into 1cm-thick wedges
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey

Method: For the brown sugar apples, place the apple, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until apple is tender, golden and sticky.
Top porridge with apples and syrup from the pan.


The full bank of recipes provided by Rebecca and Rob (and guest contributors) can be found and searched by categories on our website blog here:

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: ‘Spring on the way’ soup

March 20, 2020 by General Administrator

I haven’t used a soup recipe for a while and I’ve suddenly realised I’ve been surviving off beans and toast for lunch for a little too long, We have an abundance of leeks at the moment and I could go for the easy option of leek and potato soup, but thought I would try this slightly different idea instead.

Leek, spring green and apple soup

25g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
600g leeks (about 3-4 large), finely shredded
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 apples, peeled and diced
250ml cider
1 litre veg stock
100g spring greens, finely shredded
salt and pepper


Heat the butter and oil in a large pan. Add the onion and leeks. Fry on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and apple and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cider and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the spring greens and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the greens are tender. Blitz until smooth or leave chunkier, whichever you prefer.

Season, and serve.

Taken from:

Polina’s Recipe: Russian pastila

October 13, 2019 by General Administrator

Here’s a tasty sounding recipe from Polina, one of our produce share members:

As it is apple season, I also thought I share a simple recipe which has been our breakfast staple for a couple of weeks. It is based on traditional Russian sweet called “pastila”, made of apples, eggs, and honey. Here is homemade British “twist”. The recipe can be safely halved – depending on the blender/foodprocessor.


2lb of apples
3 tablespoons of honey/50gr of sugar (depending on apples)
9 tablespoons of oats (gluten free or not)
3 eggs whites (can be omitted for vegan version)
Spices to taste: ground cinnamon/cardamom/gloves


Core apples (no need to peel) and bake them in the oven on 185 degrees C for 35 minutes. Let them cool down. Place the baked apples in a food processor/blender (I use Blendtec) and process to a smooth pure. Add spices (if using) and honey and process for 2 minutes to mix them in. Turn the mixture into mixing bowl, fold in oats stirring with spatula, then slowly add egg whites whisked to soft peaks (if using). Fill in individual souffle dishes/ramekins (I use small ceramic bowls from Charlie Bigham pies) and bake in the oven at 100 degrees C for about an hour.

Keeps well in a fridge for a few days. Seems equally delicious cold and hot.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: What to Do with an Ear of Corn

October 12, 2018 by General Administrator

This is an approximation of a salad I’ve just eaten for lunch. (I’m currently in California, for work, since you wondered.) My salad was served with GREEN chickpeas, something I’d never encountered hitherto.
The corn in the California salad was roasted; if you are able to do this it will add depth to the flavour. See the instructions below.

The Border Grill’s Mexican Chopped Salad
Serves 4

Dressing Ingredients
4 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin (ideally, roast your cumin seeds in a dry pan and then grind them)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped roughly, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Salad Ingredients
2 ears of corn (or use 1 cup frozen corn, thawed)
1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 romaine or 2 little gem lettuces, shredded
1 crisp apple, diced
½ cup cooked chickpeas or black beans
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Guacamole, to serve (optional)
Tortilla or plantain chips, to serve (optional)

Make the dressing: combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously. Taste and see if you’d like more lemon, etc. Adjust as necessary.

IF you are able to roast the corn, follow the instructions below. Otherwise, shuck the corn and remove the stringy silk. Cut off the kernels: hold the ear vertically on its end and use a knife to cut the kernels off each cob. (Of course, if you’re using frozen corn this is unnecessary.) Place the kernels in a medium bowl with the diced red onion and cover with the dressing. Leave for 10 minutes, or longer.

When you’re ready to serve combine the corn and onion mixture with the other ingredients, toss well and serve, garnished, if you wish, with a dollop of guacamole and tortilla or plantain chips.

To Roast the Corn: Carefully peel back the husks from the corn, and remove the corn silks, leaving the husks attached. Wrap the husks back around each ear of corn. Soak the corn in a large bowl or sink of cold water for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat your grill to high.

Drain the corn well and place each husk-enclosed ear on the hot grill. Cook for about 12 minutes, turning frequently. Remove each cob from the grill and set aside to cool slightly. Then follow the instructions above to remove the kernels.

Recipe of the Week: Spiced and Roasted Beets

December 7, 2017 by General Administrator

This week’s recipe comes from share member, Judit Juhasz, with lovely warming spices as a delicious addition to a winter staple – ideal for anyone who has an abundance of winter roots! Thanks for sharing it Judit!

Roasted beetroot and apple in balsamic vinegar

This recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver, but I’ve changed it around a bit to my liking. It is also very versatile because instead of apples you could use other root veg like celeriac or parsnips and carrots. You can also change the amount of the beetroot and apples if you want to make less or more.


400 g beetroot
400 g apples (on the sour side, it complements the sweetness of the beetroot)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
25 g butter
300 ml balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. I make this in my cast iron pan as it makes it easier to transfer to the oven straight away, but you can sauté the veg in a pan and than transfer it into an oven dish to roast it in the oven.

Peel the beetroot and cut it into wedge sized chunks, roughly the same size as your apple wedges. I use the whole apple, as I like it rustic and the peel also protects it from the heat, but you can peel and core the apples if you’d like. Cut the apples into wedges.

Melt the butter in the pan and sauté the beetroot and the apples for 5 minutes. Add the spices and the salt, mixed it well and sauté for another 5 minutes until apples start to become soft.

Pour over the balsamic vinegar, toss the veg in it and transfer it to the oven or to an oven dish to roast. Roast it in the oven until the vinegar becomes a thick sauce, the apples are mushy and the beetroot is soft. You can test the beetroot with a fork or knife for softness.

It’s a perfect side dish to accompany your roast next to some spuds and with the spices it is also quite Christmassy. Enjoy!

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