This is a lovely moist cake, full of natural ingredients and ideal if you have lots of windfall apples to use up. I prefer not to eat too much sugar so this is a fabulous recipe as it contains no eggs or sugar, though you'd never know. The spicy apple and date flavour is delicious enough on it's own!
170g (6oz) peeled and chopped eating apples
115g (4oz) chopped dates
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp pear and apple spread
55g (2oz) dairy free margarine (e.g. Pure, Sainsbury's Freefrom)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
170g (6oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
You can buy pear and apple spread at Health Food shops (like Holland and Barrett) It adds natural flavour and sweetness and contains only apples and pears.
You'll need a 20cm (8") sandwich tin, preferably with a loose bottom, about 4cm (1½") deep.
Put the chopped apple and dates into a saucepan with the water.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently until the apple is tender.
Add the pear and apple spread and mix well.
Cool slightly, then whizz the mixture with a hand-blender, or mash well.
Add the margarine and stir until melted.
Then add the bicarbonate of soda and mix well. You will see the apple and date mixture froth up a little.
Add in the sifted flour, the cinnamon and a good grating of nutmeg and mix well.
Transfer to a well-greased sandwich tin and level the top of the mixture.
I sometimes sprinkle a little demerera sugar over the top (about half a tablespoon) but it's entirely up to you.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
This is lovely to take out as a snack on a winter walk.
For a quick dessert, peel and slice some extra apples into a bowl and microwave or cook until soft. Serve a couple of spoonfuls with a slice of cake.