There are many things I love about river Cottage books not the least of which is that they reliably give good cake recipes. This is the chunky apple and marmalade cake from the new 'Fruit' book, or as near to it as my store cupboard would allow, and is the sort of cake which I used to pass over in favour of chocolate when I was younger and less wise. I still appreciate a good chocolate cake (really, really, appreciate - so much so that writing this is making me wish I had a slice to hand) but I'm less keen on icing and a chocolate cake so often wants a bit of frosting on it and somehow these days things with fruit, nuts, and spices are just more appealing.
Anyway this is a lovely cake - it glowed like gold in the morning sunlight, it's damp and luscious with much of the depth of flavour you get from a traditional fruit cake but without the heaviness, and above all it makes an excellent accompaniment to a cup of tea (or coffee).
3 tablespoons of whisky, 100g of sultanas, 100g of ground almonds, 175g of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a pinch of salt, 5 nice apples (or about 500g), 200g of unsalted butter, 200g of soft brown sugar, 3 eggs, 150g of thick cut marmalade (this version reflects what I had to hand, the original recipe uses a darker sugar which would be better, and also brown flour). Warm the whisky and add the sultanas to soak. Prepare a 20cm springform cake tin, heat the oven to gas 3/ 170C, and peel, core, slice the apple into chunky slices. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, mix the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Beat in the eggs one at a time with a spoon of the flour/nut mix then add the rest of the flour/nut mix before folding in the marmalade, apples, and sultanas. Into the tin and bake for about an hour and a quarter or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 mins before removing and letting cool completely.