Apple and Calvados Cakes

The subtle bouquet of calvados (normally Apple brandy) and the earthly, fruity flavour of quince add depth to tea time cakes. Quince paste is always available, but when the fruit is in season replace a third of the chopped apple with finely grated fresh quince to add extra flavour.

Ingredients

250g/9oz cooking apple, peeled and cored

grated rind of 1 lemon

45ml/3 tbsp quince paste

75/3 oz/6 tbsp vegan butter, melted

15ml/1 tbsp calvados

225g/8 oz/2 cups plain (all-purpose flour

10ml/2 tsp baking powder

75g/3 oz/scant 1/2 cup castor sugar

1 vegan egg, lightly beaten

60ml/4 tbsp vegan buttermilk

For the quince glaze

45ml/3 tbsp quince or apple jelly

15ml/1 tbsp water

5ml 1tsp lemon juice

30ml/2 tbsp calvados

Method

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C/350° F/ Gas 4. Grease the cups of a large muffin tin (pan) or line them with paper muffins cases.

2.Slice one quarter of the Apple very thinly and reserve in a bowl of water acidulated with a squeeze of lemon. Roughly dice the rest of the apple and set aside in another bowl of acidulated water.

3. In a small pan, gently melt the quince paste with the butter over low heat, mashing the paste with a wooden spoon to break up any little lumps.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir In calvados and set aside.

5. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In another bowl, stir the egg and the buttermilk together and add the grated lemon rind,

6. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, with the butter, quince paste and calvados and the chopped apple. Stir until just combined, then spoon into the prepared muffin tin.

7.Press a few slices of apple into the top of each cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

8.To make the glaze, put the jelly, water and lemon juice in a small pan, and boil rapidly until slightly thickened. Add the calvados and simmer for about 1 minutes. Brush over the cakes while still warm.