Dear Sam,

 

Happy October to you, too! We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, thank you, and the train ride through the mountains from Paris to Milan was spectacular.  Spending time in Italy we, of course, sampled the local wine, so how appropriate that it’s now wine month!

Since we came home, autumn has arrived with darker, wetter days and so, as well as enjoying the odd glass of warming red wine, I’m thinking about comforting things to cook, from casseroles to something sweet to go with a cup of tea.

I remembered that, back in the spring,  I’d promised you a recipe for Welsh cakes; while I was looking one up, I came across the fact that October is also the month – both here in the UK and in the States – where the apple harvest is celebrated. So, instead of the  traditional Welsh cakes, which are made with currants, here is a delicious apple version.  They are cooked on the hob or stovetop on a bakestone but, if you don’t have one,  a heavy frying pan will be fine. This recipe makes 8 – 10 as they are best eaten fresh.

A recipe for Apple Welsh cakes

UK and US measurements:

125g or 1 cup self-raising/rising flour

A generous pinch of cinnamon (optional)

70g or 5 tbsp butter, in small cubes

50g or 4 tbsp demerara (raw) or light muscovado (brown) sugar

A small pinch of salt

Approx 150g or 5 oz of cooking apples, whole

Approx 30ml or 2 tbsp of milk

Caster (superfine) sugar for dusting

Method

1. Heat the bakestone or frying pan over a medium heat.

2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt and cinnamon, if using.  Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor for this stage.

3. Stir in the sugar.

4. Peel and core the apples and grate. Stir the grated apple into the flour mixture with enough milk so that it binds together into a ball of moist, soft dough.  Work it a little so that the flour is well mixed in.

5. Move to a lightly floured worktop and roll out the dough to about 5mm or a quarter of an inch thick.

6. Using a 6-7cm or 2 and a half to 3 inch cutter, cut out individual rounds, re-rolling any offcuts to make more.

7. Melt a little butter on the hot pan or bakestone and cook the rounds a few at a time. They need to be golden brown on the outside and cooked through, which takes about 4 – 5 minutes on each side.   The aroma while this is happening is delicious!

8. Move to a wire rack to cool and dust with sugar. Serve while they are warm.

 

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Although Welsh cakes are usually round, you can use any kind of cutter. In Wales, heart-shaped ones are popular as wedding favours.

For a variation on the theme, the chef Lisa Fearn suggests you could also use this mixture to make an apple crumble (or crisp, as I think it’s called in the US?) with a Welsh cake topping.

To do this, follow the recipe up to stage 3 to produce the crumble/crisp.  Slice the apples thinly and place in a pie dish with sugar and cinnamon to taste. Sprinkle the Welsh cake mixture on top and bake at 190c or 375f for 35 – 40 minutes until the apples are soft and the topping is golden.

Enjoy!

Much love,

Claire

 

 

 

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