Also known as pudding spice, this is an aromatic, warming blend of sweet spices used in cakes, biscuits, gingerbread and, of course, puddings. The combination of spices usually includes cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg, coriander and allspice. It is indispensable at Christmas time, used in the ubiquitous pudding and fruit mince pies, and the following recipe is testament to its affinity with apples.
- 4 granny smith apples (about 630gm)
- 30 gm unsalted butter, softened
- 330 gm golden caster sugar (1½ cups)
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 300 gm self-raising flour (2 cups)
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1Peel, core and quarter apples, then thinly slice lengthways. Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add apples, sprinkle with 2 tbsp sugar and sauté for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
- 2Preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale, add sugar and whisk until well combined and doubled in volume. Add eggs one at a time, whisking to incorporate before adding next. Add vanilla and whisk to combine.
- 3Sift flour, 1 tsp of sea salt and mixed spice over batter and gently fold until combined. Spoon half the mixture into a buttered and floured 26cm diameter cake pan. Spread apples evenly over batter and top with remaining batter.
- 4Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted metal skewer withdraws clean. Stand for 10 minutes then transfer cake to a wire rack to cool.