How pretty is this? Great for a proper teatime with leaf tea served in cups and linen napkins. This is how we like to while away an afternoon…
To make the cake
150g soft butter
150g caster sugar
2 free range eggs, beaten
150g ground almonds
50g plain flour
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 red apples
5 tablespoons apricot jam
1 Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3. Lightly grease a 20cm cake tin with a removable base and and line with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and continue to mix until smooth (you may have to add a little of the flour if the mixture seems to be curdling). Add the almonds, flour, lemon zest and baking powder and mix well. Stir in the milk. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
2 Cut the apples in half and remove the core (don’t peel them; the skin looks pretty in the finished cake). Cut into thin slices. Starting at the outside edge, arrange the apples in concentric circles, around the cake, slightly overlapping and finishing in the centre. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is firm and risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
3 In the meantime, sieve the apricot jam into a saucepan and add a tablespoon of water. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a wire rack, brush with the apricot jam/jelly and leave to cool completely.
To make 1 pot of tea
3–4 teaspoons orange pekoe leaves
1 teaspoon each dried lemon and orange peels - remove with a potato peeler and dry in a very low oven (Aga owners could use the warming oven)
sugar or honey, to taste
Warm the teapot and add the tea leaves and citrus peels. Pour over boiling water and leave to brew for 3–4 minutes. Sweeten with sugar or honey, as desired.
Recipes: Tea and Treats, Perfect Pairings for Brews and Bakes by Liz Franklin (£16.99, Ryland Peters & Small). Photograph: Isobel Wield
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