So, after my last post I had to revisit my own observations regarding palm oil. I realised that the stuff is in many more products than I had initially thought, so I have definitely learned something.
For example, some margarine I was going to buy for baking... on the front of the package it said "contains vegetable fat" but a large proportion of that is palm oil! How are consumers supposed to make ethical choices based on that? Yes, palm oil is vegetable fat but not the kind I necessarily want in my cakes, given its environmental impact. In the end I opted for buying butter - more expensive but at least I know what's in it...for the most part, that is. It just goes to show that we sometimes have to dig even deeper to get to the information we need, the "real stuff".
The end result of my baking session was a apple & raisin crumble cake (or in German "Apfelstreuselkuchen") :-) - flour, baking powder, butter, egg, sugar, apples, raisins, cinnamon...that's pretty much it if I recall the ingredients correctly. There's a whole tray's worth of it and I have frozen a big chunk to have another day. YUM!
Apple Crumble Cake (makes one baking tray, roughly a 10 x 5 inch pan/tray)
(or in German "Apfelstreuselkuchen") - the above link is to the original German recipe with a translation below (please note that I have amended a couple of items which are not readily available in the UK such as "Vanillinzucker" - a ready-made sugar infused with vanilla...not essential to the recipe):
For the base: 350 g flour, 4 level tsps baking powder, 80g sugar, 1 large egg, 2 tbsp milk (you may need a little more), 150 g butter
For the filling: 4 large apples (ca. 1200 g), 200g dried cranberries or sultanas, zest & juice of half a lemon, a little sugar to taste (I like mine quite tart but if you like yours a little sweeter, add approx. 100g)
For the crumble: 250 g flour, 150 g sugar, 150 g butter, 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
For the base: Mix the base ingredients to a dough and form a ball. Cover this in foil and leave to rest for half an hour in the fridge.
For the filling: peel and core the apples and cut into chunks. Put all into a pan, add lemon juice, zest and sugar as well as the cranberries or sultanas. Heat at a medium heat and stir constantly to reduce, adding a little water (2 tbsp) if necessary. Please note that the filling should not be too watery. Remove from the heat once a thick mass has formed and the apples are almost cooked.
Oil the baking sheet and dust with fine breadcrumbs or flour (OR use baking paper). Cover the baking sheet with the dough (you might find it easier to roll this out first or just pat into the pan), creating a small rim and making sure the dough covers the tray completely and evenly. Now top this with the apple & cranberry mix.
For the crumble: mix the ingredients (above) until resembling rough breadcrumbs and crumble this on top of the fruit layer.
Bake for ca. 40 - 50 minutes at 180 - 200 degrees (fan oven) - my oven seems to be quite hot, so 180C seems to do it. Leave to cool, then cut into squares.
Optional: Drizzle with lemon icing (made by mixing icing sugar with a little lemon juice) once cooled
This cake freezes well - just cut into squares and place in freezer bags. Defrost at room temperature prior to serving.