This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!

The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.

I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Apple Cake and Apple Fudge Cake

I'm exploring the theme of apple cakes, possibly something to do with having a surfeit of cooking apples.

This first apple cake is made to a recipe in a book of Parsonage Recipes, which seems quite appropriate.   

It is very simple to make, just six ingredients....although I used seven.   I added some ground cinnamon to the apple.

Apple Cake

6 oz Self Raising Flour
4 oz butter
3 oz sugar
1 egg
Pinch of salt
1 lb apples

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg.  Beat well.   Sift in flour and salt and mix to a paste (I found it necessary to add a splash of milk to soften it a little).   Grease a shallow baking tin and line with half the mixture.    Put in a layer of strained, cooked apple.   Cover with remaining mixture.
Bake 1 1/4 hours.  When cold cut into squares and sprinkle with sugar.

No oven temperature was specified, so I baked the cake at 160 C; it was ready after an hour.   Next time I may try it at a slightly lower temperature.

This simple little book is hard back, no dust jacket,   It was published in 1961 in aid of the Lincolnshire Old Churches Trust and is a collection of recipes and hints taken from many of the Rectories and Parsonages within the county.

 The second cake is from Josceline Dimbleby's Complete Cookbook, which was published in 1997.

Max thought it was very moreish, but then he does have an incredibly sweet tooth.

The cake base is topped with melted butter, muscovado sugar and sliced apples.   The resulting pudding/cake is sticky and delicious.

Perfect served with cream, ice cream, or custard - or even a good dollop of thick and creamy Greek yogurt.

I'm looking forward to doing some plain and simple bread next time.

local-kiwi-alien mentioned Stottie Cakes in one of her recent posts. 

It is many years since we had any of those and after baking sweet cakes  the plain simplicity of bread is immensely appealing.    

I'll let you know how I get on as I try feeding them to my resident Geordie.


  1. I have made so many apple cakes over the years, some with puree, some with slices underneath, some on top, some were stodgie, some were not. Love apple cake and your recipe is definitely one to try. That second one looks devilish. Ploughing through peaches and grapes at the moment but apples are on the horizon.

    1. Such is my husband's fondness for apple cake that there will be a few more to come. Peaches and grapes sound so much more exotic - and a sun warm ripe peach is one my favourites. We have a grapevine, it's doing really well, but it will be a long time until grapes become a problem around here! Do you eat them fresh or do you preserve them in some way?

    2. We eat the grapes fresh because they have pips but grapes preserved whole in a syrup are common here. The peaches we eat fresh but if there are any left over I love a to make some fruit chutney.

  2. I love dutch apple cake. I think this will be worth a go! apple and cake what can be better

    1. I'll be baking chocolate brownies today - the grandchildren are returning to/starting school and as their parents don't get back from their own schools until later, we have to meet them from the school bus. Chocolate brownies and a glass of milk should help to ease them back into the routine after a summer of fun and frivolity with their friends.
      Have you completed your house transformation yet?

    2. Sorry, no. the house drags on.

  3. both look incredible but I think the second one beats it... divine!

    1. The second was sinfully delicious, but the first one was frugally fine. The wives of the vicars and rectors who donated all the recipes in 'Parsonage Recipes' certainly knew how to get the most out of their housekeeping money. I trawled through the book, hoping to see some truly local recipes but Alford vicarage was the nearest. I was hoping to see some donated from Belleau vicarage, or perhaps it had been sold by then. I must investigate.

  4. Despite my sweet tooth, I've been coming around to the plainer type cakes recently. I make a very similar one with rhubarb which is just lovely.

    1. Hello Choclette, Rhubarb and custard cake is one of my husband's favourites. Alas! he has so many, mainly the one he has to hand at the time. I'll be nipping over to visit you later.