When I made the Tarte d'Amour for the Romance Cookalong, I had a bit of pastry left over. Now I have a waste not, want not philosophy in Maison Baba (also known as make more, eat more) so I started to plot. I had promised the work peeps something nice so I decided to use the apples from that week's shopping expedition and make an Apple Sponge with a difference.
Normally if you add fresh fruit to a light and delicate sponge, it sinks down to the bottom and merges into a fruity slush. I wanted to avoid this so I created a bottom layer of shortcrust pastry, baked it blind, put the apples on top and then covered it with a vanilla infused sponge - which was baked in a deep 10 inch square tin. The resulting cake was absolutely gorgeous - apple and vanilla work beautifully together and it was duly devoured.
Bramley Apple & Vanilla Sponge
200g Shortcrust Pastry
4 Bramley Apples, peeled, cored & roughly chopped
125g Butter, softened
175g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Paste/Vanilla Extract
175g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
Preheat your oven to 175c/Gas Mark 4 and line your tin with baking parchment.
Roll out the pastry so it's about 1-2 cm bigger than the base of the tin & fit it in snugly, with the overlap running up the side. The pastry will shrink during cooking so it will then fit perfectly (top tip!). Prick with a fork, cover with another sheet of baking parchment and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, take off the beans & paper and return to the oven for another 10 minutes uncovered. This allows the pastry to dry out and cook before you smother it with apples and sponge - no soggy base here.
While the pastry is baking, peel, core & chop the apples - either cover them or toss in a little lemon juice to stop them browning. Now it's time to make the sponge.
Cream the butter until very soft, gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy
Now add the eggs one by one, beating well all the time, and the vanilla.
Sieve the flour and baking powder, and stir in gently.