Apple Cake

250g/9oz self raising flour 
Pinch of salt 
55g/2oz ground almonds 
125g/4½oz castor sugar 
200g/7oz unsalted butter at room temperature 
450g/1lb dessert apples 
2 medium eggs 
1-2 tbsp calvados 
40g/1½oz light brown sugar 
½tsp ground cinnamon 
55g/2oz flaked almonds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

This old fashioned cake is great with a cup of tea in front of a blazing fire, even goes well with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or clotted cream. 

Peel, core and roughly chop half of the apples. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a deep 21-23cm/8½-9in square cake tin. 

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the ground almonds and 115g/4oz of the castor sugar. Add 175g/6oz of the butter and rub in with your fingers until the mixture is like that of breadcrumbs. 

Add the beaten eggs but do not over mix. Add the calvados (cider or milk could be used instead) to make a spoonable mixture and add the apples. Then spoon the mixture into the tin. 

Peel, core and slice the remaining apples, scatter over the top of the cake mix and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes. 

Heat the remaining butter, light brown sugar and cinnamon in a pan till the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the flaked almonds. 

Remove the cake from the oven and spread the butter mixture over the top. 

Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.

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