Cook, Grow
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Allotments, three year olds, and apple tray bake

An old friend visited me this weekend with her 3-year-old daughter.  We had a wonderful time which went by all too quickly.  We popped to the allotment to dig some carrots, and while we were there my friend’s daughter took some photographs (see above) and helped dig some potatoes.  The raspberries didn’t leave the plot but were very tasty.

I had hoped to do some REAL work on the allotment this weekend but the heavy rain has left the ground sodden.  Instead I made an apple tray bake with apples from my brother’s apple tree back up north.


  • 450g cooking apples
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 280g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • demerara sugar, to sprinkle


Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a rectangular baking tin (approx 27cm x 20cm) with parchment paper.  Peel, core and thinly slice the apples then squeeze the lemon juice over.  Set to one side.

Place the butter, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well until smooth. Spread half the mixture into the prepared tin.  Arrange half the apples over the top of the mixture, then repeat the layers.  Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.

Bake for 45-50 mins until golden and springy to the touch.  Leave to cool for 10 mins.


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