Because you asked so nicely

We use napkins every day. We each have our own silver napkin ring with which to identify our napkin. The napkin rings have all been gathered over time, each a little battered, all found one by one in junk shops and car boot sales. There are lots of napkins, all soft and worn with laundering. Ecru linen, cheerful checks and vintage white linens and damasks. And yes Karen, I do iron them.

And now, because so many of you asked, the Apple Cake recipe is listed below. I was given this recipe by my friend and neighbour Lydia. I first ate it whilst living in a beautiful Rutland village, we were sitting on her back step in the afternoon sunshine and watching our children play. It must have been 10 years ago or more and yet I remember the taste, the moment, the blue sky above. She was given the recipe by her friend and she wrote it out for me, I still have that hand-written piece of paper, now laminated, I keep it with my
favourite recipes and rather like the fact that it is not metric.

Lydia's Apple Cake

5oz butter
2 lg eggs
8oz caster sugar
1 tsp almond extract
8oz self raising flour and 11/2 tsp baking powder
11/2 lb cooking apples (un-peeled weight) - peeled and roughly sliced

Oven 375 F, 190 C, Gas 5
10" loose bottom tin

Melt the butter until just runny and pour into a large bowl. Add eggs, sugar, almond extract and beat well.

Fold in the flour and baking powder. Spread 2/3 of mixture into tin, pile apples on top and dot remaining batter over the apples. It will be nigh impossible to evenly spread, no matter, this cake is one of those magical ones that makes it all OK in the oven.

Bake for 50-75 minutes, depending on your oven. It takes an hour in my current oven, in my previous oven it took almost 11/2 hours but I had to cover with tinfoil to prevent burning. I would advise checking it at 50 minutes and if it is almost done then check again in seven minutes, and so forth.

As previously mentioned, it will not be a beauty prize winner but dust with icing sugar if you please and make a cup of tea. Also, jolly good with cream for pudding.


Annie said…
Ooh, thank you. I love the way recipes get passed on on scrappy bits of paper ... I have a few like that, all cherished. I shall add this one to the collection :D
Cornflower said…
Hurrah for the napkins! I do like the sound of that cake.
Thimbleanna said…
YUM -- thanks for the recipe!!!
Shelley in SC said…
When I was a child, I lived in England for a year and remember that so many people used napkins and napkin rings. Our family did also for that one year in England. Then it was back to America and disposable napkins. I've tried to pick up this habit again as a mom and have never been able to make it work. It's such a lovely thing to do, and I love looking at your beautiful linen napkins and found silver rings. ::sigh::
Robin said…
I look forward to making this soon.

We use cloth napkins at my house, too. Mine aren't the same. Just lots of prints that go well with one another.
rachel said…
That's prompted me to get my napkins and rings out of wherever they are lurking, and start using them again. Maybe just one, for me - less laundry.....
Ali said…
Ah, than you for the recipe. I am a big fan of apple cake.

Napkin use seems to go in phases round here. We haven't had them out for a bit. Perhaps it's time to pull our socks up again.
Anonymous said…
Thank you so much for taking the time to type the recipe, I shall tackle it tomorrow. I like the idea of melting the butter, no messy rubbing in or tiresome beating with the sugar.
blue hands said…
I've just realised that this is exactly the recipe passed on to me by my dear friend Gail. It is also lovely made with other fruits - plum and almond are particularly delicious.
Tina said…
Thank you for the recipe. Found and made this evening - I've been hearing hints about the apples in the kitchen for a few days now. No almond extract, so subbed a spoonful of cinnamon
kim said…
I love that none of the rings are the same and that you iron napkins. Linen, no less. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
driftwood said…
oh it sounds delicious x and I love how you identify everyones napkin, that's one of the things that put me off using them. x
Anonymous said…
we made the apple cake this weekend! thank you so much for passing the recipe on, it's just what i'd hoped for and absolutely delicious. there's not much left and it's only monday!
Sue said…
Thank you for the Apple cake recipe. I have made it but with a couple of changes. I did not have any almond essence so instead tossed the apples in cinnamon. It was delicious and I will defintely be making it again.
Thank you.
Julia said…
That sounds delicious...I scrolled down to this post after reading your Autumn one have me the mood for woodland walks, followed by apple cake and hot tea for afters - thank you for the inspiration and for sharing a cherished recipe!

Love Julia x x x
Anonymous said…
I finally managed to make it! It is so big that I shall have to give some of it to the neighbours.
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