125 g (4½ oz) margarine
125 g (4½ oz) sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
¼ tsp lemon essence
1 pinch salt
200 g (7 oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1-2 tbsp wine
750 g (1 lb 10 oz) apples
25 g (1 oz) melted margarine
40 g (1½ oz) sultanas (optional)
For the mixture
Use an electric whisk or food processor to cream the margarine at high speed, then gradually add the sugar, vanilla sugar, the lemon essence and a pinch of salt. Continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs as you beat (one every 30 seconds or so). In a bowl, sift together the flour and the baking powder. Gradually add them and the wine to the creamed fat, beating continuously at medium speed. Only use as much wine as is necessary to give the mixture a slow dropping consistency.
For the topping
Peel, quarter and core the apples. Make a few parallel cuts on the peeled sides of the apple quarters and then arrange them in a flower-shape on top of the mixture. Melt the margarine and brush the apples with it. Sprinkle with sultanas, if using.
1. Conventional oven-- about 180 deg C / 350 deg F (preheated)
2. Fan-assisted oven-- about 160 deg C / 325 deg F (not preheated)
3. Gas oven-- mark 2-3 (not preheated)
Baking time--40 - 50 minutes
2 tbsp apricot jam
(Strained through a sieve)
For the apricot syrup
To make the syrup, press the apricot jam through a sieve, add a little water, boil and reduce slightly. Spread the syrup on to the surface of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Instead of apples, use 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) morello cherries.