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Apple and Walnut Cake

This wonderful little (and we mean little — just 6 inches in diameter!) cake tastes of the essence of autumn. It’s chock full of apple, walnuts, and cognac-soaked raisins, and just the ticket with morning coffee (breakfast anyone?) or afternoon tea. Not overly sweet, with a moist but substantial crumb, this cake is utterly satisfying on a brisk fall day!

Apple and Walnut Cake

1½ oz. golden raisins (generous ¼ cup)
2 tbs. cognac
12 oz. Granny Smith apples (2 medium)
juice and zest of ½ a lemon
3½ oz. butter (7 tbs.)
5¼ oz. sugar (¾ cup)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6½ oz. all-purpose flour (1½ cups plus 1 tbs.)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
2 oz. chopped walnuts

Soak the raisins in the cognac for several hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 6” round cake tin with parchment.

Peel the apples and slice enough to arrange in the bottom of the tin. Grate the remaining apple coarsely and mix with the lemon juice and zest.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the egg and vanilla, beating after each addition. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder, then fold into the beaten mixture along with the apples, raisins, and walnuts.

Spoon the batter into the tin and level the top. Bake for 40 minutes and check to see if the cake is done (test with a skewer or knife). If not, lower the heat to 300°F and bake for another 10-20 minutes, until the cake is cooked through. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

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