A lovely, light, egg-free fruitcake, made in the mould of a traditional vinegar cake – that is, it’s the baking powder in the flour, combined with a splash of cider vinegar, that creates the “rise”. Serves eight to 10.
250g self-raising flour
125g cold butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
125g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 large cooking apple (such as a bramley), peeled and sliced
Demerara sugar, to finish
Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Butter a 20cm, round springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
Put the flour in a bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mix resembles breadcrumbs (or do this in a processor). Stir in the sugar and sultanas. Combine the cider and vinegar, pour into the dry ingredients and mix lightly but thoroughly. Finally, fold in the slices of apple.
Spoon the cake mix into the prepared tin, smooth it out until reasonably flat and scatter the top generously with demerara sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before serving.