Embrace the change in season and celebrate brilliant British apples with blogger Izy Hossack’s hearty autumn baking ideas
“There is such an array of different flavoured apples and they are so comforting when cooked,” says food blogger Izy Hossack, AKA Top with Cinnamon
“After such a hot summer, I’m so pleased the weather has cooled down, as it makes standing by an oven a lot more bearable. It’s the start of cosy season, which equals wearing jumpers and eating warm baked goods. I seek inspiration for new recipes everywhere, including on Pinterest and Instagram, but seasonality is always my starting point.
“I love cooking with British apples. There is a wonderful variety of flavours and textures, especially since you can grate, slice or cube them, so they’re excellent for both sweet and savoury dishes. There’s a brilliant selection of high-quality British apples at M&S, meaning that, for these recipes, I could pick out exactly what variety would work best for a cake, muffins and a pie.
“My apple caramel Bundt cake was inspired by that classic autumnal treat, toffee apples. Although they’re delicious, they’re often hard to eat. My cake version is really easy to put together but it looks fancy, thanks to the decorative Bundt pan.
The toffee apple glaze can seem daunting, but it’s not that difficult and tastes amazing.
“My apple and maple muffins are the cosiest of autumn snacks. The oats, grated apples and maple make for a very moist, not-too-sweet muffin which is perfect for breakfast on the run or in a lunchbox. You can also make these ahead and freeze them, which comes in handy on busy mornings.
“The idea for my apple and cheddar pie, meanwhile, was conceived after I tried the flavour combination in New York a few years ago and loved it. The cheesy crust goes incredibly well with the sweet-but-tart filling. It’s perfect served warm with plenty of cream.
“This bonfire night will be all about cooking: I’ll make macaroni cheese for me and my boyfriend, followed by the toffee apple cake from this feature. Since it falls on a Monday, that’s about as exciting as it gets.”
Toffee-apple Bundt cake
“This one’s perfect for a low-key yet impressive dessert after dinner. If you don’t fancy making the caramel sauce, you could always use a ready-made version.”
130g unsalted butter, softened
200g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 Cox apples, peeled and cored
For the toffee glaze
150ml double cream
25g unsalted butter
120g granulated sugar
½ tsp salt flakes
1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Melt 30g of the butter in a small saucepan. Use a pastry brush to brush the inside of a Bundt tin with the melted butter, making sure you get into all the crevices. Dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined. Stir in the milk. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and fold together until just combined.
Chop the apples into roughly 2cm chunks and fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared Bundt tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.
To make the glaze, warm the cream and butter together in a small saucepan until the butter has melted. Take off the heat.
Heat the sugar in a medium saucepan over a high heat (it’s best to use a light-coloured pan so you can see the colour change more easily). Once the sugar starts to melt, tilt and swirl the pan over the heat to help the mixture caramelise evenly – do not use a spoon or it may crystallise. Once the melted sugar has gone from light yellow to amber in colour, turn the heat down to low and pour in the warm cream/butter mixture. The caramel will bubble up so be careful. Stir together until evenly combined, then mix in the salt flakes and lemon juice. Let cool for 5 minutes before pouring over the cake.
Apple and maple muffins
“You could change these up by mixing a couple of teaspoons of ground ginger along with a few tablespoons of crystallised ginger into the batter, for a zingy flavour.”
100ml olive oil
100ml maple syrup
2 Gala apples, coarsely grated
180g wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners. Mix the olive oil, maple syrup, eggs, milk and grated apples in a medium bowl.
Mix the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour the contents of the olive oil mixture into the large bowl and mix together until just combined.
Pour the batter into the lined muffin tin. Bake for 25-27 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Apple pie with a cheddar
“If you have a food processor, use it to make the pastry-making easier: just blitz the pastry ingredients instead of making by hand.”
350g plain white flour
¼ tsp salt
200g unsalted butter, cold, cubed
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
5-8 tbsp ice water
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled
1 tbsp lemon juice
50g brown sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub it into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs, with a few pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. Stir in the grated cheese. Drizzle over the ice water, starting with five tablespoons. Use your hands to mix, kneading gently, adding more water as needed until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Divide into two balls, flatten into disks, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Quarter the apples and remove the cores. Slice the apples into 5mm thick slices. Place into a bowl with the lemon juice, sugar and cornflour. Toss to combine.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
Take one disk of chilled dough and roll it out to a 30cm circle between two pieces of baking paper. Lift off the top piece of baking paper and flip the pastry out onto a 22cm pie dish. Remove the top layer of baking paper and push the pastry down gently so it sinks to fit the dish. Pour in the apple filling.
Roll out the second disk of dough into a 30cm square, then cut into 3cm wide strips. Lay half the strips over the pie vertically. One at a time, lay the remaining strips over the pie horizontally, alternating them over and under the vertical strips to create a woven pattern. Trim the excess dough from around the edges and crimp by pinching together with your fingers or a fork. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Place the pie tin onto a baking tray and then into the oven to bake for 60-70 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing it.