For this delicious and EASY apple cake we foraged for apples and it came off a treat! The start of Autumn brings with it the abundance of the apple tree. Many different varieties of apple, over the course of September, and October will start weighing down the branches of their trees with fruit. It’s always wise to see if you can identify your apple before you eat, or nibble with caution, otherwise you could be in for a super sour surprise. Not all apples are sweet! Scope your local parks and neighbourhood for signs of windfall apples and laden branches before going back to pick (although windfall is free to anyone). Remember to get permission from the tree owner if you are going to pick apples and they don’t belong to you, someone may have their eyes set of eating them too. However often they are grown and simply left to rot meaning that some people will be more than happy for you to come and pick some. Enjoy apple collecting knowing that this activity encourages connection with your local natural surroundings and trees and therefore benefits you and your family's wellbeing. Bake this easy cake with your family, it’s an easy one for with younger children and you can consider - measurements, weighing, temperatures, time, cutting and peeling and simply ‘learning to look after yourself’ as topics to further any learning. Always wash your fruit under hot water before using to remove any bugs.
See below for full recipe, pick your own apples or use shop bought.
Whilst using this nature activity to inspire learning, know you are helping you and your family's wellbeing like this:
1) Get Active - Get moving by going for a walk in an area where you are able to pick some apples. This could even involve planning a trip. Take into mind that harvesting apples may require knocking on someone’s door to ask if it’s ok to take some from a tree in their garden. It’s ok if they say no, there will be more apples somewhere else.
2) Keep Learning - Learn not only about the various apples before you set off and how to identify, but why not also consider the local geography of the area you intend to walk in in order to forage for apples.
3) Be Mindful - Not all apples are sweet enough to eat straight away. Nibble mindfully to discover the taste and see if you can identify the tastes - sour, sweet, sharp etc Use an app to help you identify correctly but plan ahead. Mindful eating can happen once the cake is cooked: how does it smell as you cut the cake, notice how it feels in your hands - does it crumble easily, is it warm from the oven etc, take a small bite of that delicious cake first and feel the textures in your mouth and then think about how to describe the tased with as many different words as you can.
4) Practice Kindness -Remind yourselves and family that these apples are not there for us only, they are a source of food for many other insects and wildlife too. The trees also provide shelter and home to insects and wildlife too. Only take what you need. If you are helping a neighbour or stranger by picking apples from their tree, why not ask if they would like you to pick some for them too and leave them some apple cake as a thank you.
5) Think Community - Share your tips, where to look for them and beautiful outcomes in the comments below and as ever bake for those near and dear and then see if you can think of someone else who may appreciate a slice too. #applecake #apples #allthingsapple #familyactivity #family #baking #childrensactivity #walk #walkandeat #foodforfree #nature #foraging
Ingredients: 200g self raising flour
100g sugar (works well with brown too)
1tsp baking powder
2tsp cinnamon powder
optional: 1 tsp all spice powder
150ml milk of choice 1tbsp of apple cider vinegar
75ml sunflower oil
2 tsp of vanilla extract
usually around 6-8 smallish eating apples, (topped, bottomed, peeled & cored, then sliced and laid out in a decorative pattern on the top), foraged or shop bought.
Preheat oven to 180degrees Mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a jug. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in and mix thoroughly until you get an even mixture. Top, tail & peel your apples. Cut each apple into 8 equal pieces & remove any core. Pour the cake mix into your cake tin/mould (ours was 17cm x 17cm for this recipe). Firmly press the apple pieces into the cake mix in any decorative pattern you like! Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-45mins - check until a fork comes out clean and it is a nice golden brown on top. Let it sit for 10mins to cool before removing from the tin, then another 10mins to let the base cool on a cooling rack (or upside down on a plate works too - it's just to let the steam out the base so it doesn't go soggy!). Slice and serve. Serve with ice-cream/custard/cream of choice or it's delicious alone too. Enjoy!