An unusual but delicious Venetian-inspired combination
This is a delicious combination. I first enjoyed it in Venice and think the rosemary gives it a very memorable flavour. The cake is beautifully moist and is best eaten on the day it is made. If you like the flavours, try apple and rosemary in a pie. The rosemary could also flavour an accompanying custard!
115g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
350g braeburn or cox’s orange pippin apples (about 3)
Juice of ½ lemon
4 large eggs
150g caster sugar
150g plain white or Italian 00 plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of fine sea salt
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm round cake tin. Melt the measured butter then set it aside to cool. Core, peel and thinly slice the apples. Squeeze over the lemon juice to prevent browning.
Put the eggs and sugar in a heat proof bowl and stand it over a saucepan of gently simmering water. The bowl must not touch the water. Whisk for 10-15 mins, until the mixture is thick, pale and leaves a trail when the beaters are lifted. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking until the mixture is cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Gently fold half the flour and the rosemary into the whisked eggs and sugar.
Slowly trickle the melted butter around the edge of the bowl and gently fold in. Take care not to stir the mixture too heavily or it will lose its air. Fold in the remaining flour and the lemon zest. Lastly, fold in the apples.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 40 mins until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Turn out and leave to cool on a rack. Just before serving, sift icing sugar over the top of the cake.
Recipe: Ursula Ferrigno