I think summer is here in England, which means enjoying cold glasses of cider while gazing upon the harbor side here in Bristol. Cider is sweet, crisp, refreshing, and can also be used in ways other than drinking on its own. Its sugar content makes it perfect for treats, baked goods, and even braising meat. But since I like treats, I decided to make a Triple Perry Cider cake using a bottle of perry I bought from Ralph’s Traditional Cider while at the three counties show.
Ralph’s Cider and Perry is located on the B4372 between New Radnor and Kinnerton in Powys, Mid Wales. What I liked about this cider is that it was really light and crisp. What sold me on taking home a sample box is that this cider is made the traditional way using an original victorian cider press and stone cider mill. Check out the pictures on their website as it’s really interesting to see this type of machinery still in use and producing a wonderful product. They also host a cider making festival in October.
Ok, onto the cake. Here is what you will need to make a Triple Perry Cider Cake:
- 1 cup golden syrup
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sultanas
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup pear cider
- 2 cups plain flour
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (I used pumpkin pie spice, but all spice is fine)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Quick side note. During my trip to Cornwall last weekend, I picked up some sea salt from the Cornish Sea Salt Company at Sainsburys in Newquay. They offer regular salt, flavored salts, seasoned seaweeds, and lots of recipes on their website. I definitely plan on placing an order online in the future.
Ok, now to bake. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Grease or line two round baking tins. In a saucepan, add the syrup, brown sugar, sultanas, dates, butter, and cider. Heat this just enough to melt the butter and mix to create a smooth liquid. Be careful NOT to boil.
Put this aside and in a separate bowl, combine the flour, sea salt, ground ginger, mixed spice, and baking soda. In a tiny bowl, lightly beat the egg and set aside. Do not add the egg yet like I did; this will create lots of unnecessary lumps.
Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add the liquid mixture until just combined, then add the egg, incorporating it into a smooth batter. Pour evenly into your two greased or lined cake tins and bake for 30 minutes, until the cake is springy and a knife or toothpick comes out clean. If you use a large cake tin, bake for about 40 minutes, but just make sure to check it throughout the baking process. I have a fan oven, which sometimes makes for a slightly faster baking time, but your cake should be golden and not too brown. Over baking can sometimes make a drier cake.
While those beauties are baking, you’ll make the cider cooked pear filling and cider caramel topping. In the same saucepan you used for the liquid ingredients, you will then add:
- The rest of the bottle of cider, just over 1 cup’s worth
- 2 pears, chopped finely or chunky, its up to you
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring the entire time, for 10 minutes. Then reduce to a medium boil for another 20 minutes, or until the pears are cooked and soft. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the burner. It should be time to take the cakes out of the oven now.
Once the cakes are cool enough to handle, take them out of the tins and place onto a plate. If you decided to make one thick cake, cut this in half to form a top and bottom. Carefully spoon out the bits of pear from the saucepan mixture and place on top of the bottom cake layer.
Turn your attention back to the liquid mixture still in the sauce pan and bring this to a boil. You will reduce this down into a caramel, so its VERY important you stay here and stir. Don’t leave because this can burn very easily and you will be sad. You want the consistency to be thick, but keep in mind, it will thicken even more as it cools. For me, I reduced it until it really coated my spoon. I then turned off the heat and took it off the burner, leaving it to cool for only 5 minutes while placing the top layer of cake over the pear filling. Then while the caramel is still warm, pour this silky goodness over the top, letting it ooze over the edges in all its glory!
And there you have it, Triple Perry Cider Cake. Triple because there’s 1) Cider in the batter, 2) pears cooked in the cider mixture, and 3) cider caramel on top. This treat is sticky, sweet, and oh so good! It may not look so fancy once you cut it, but I don’t care because I have cake.
I still have two more bottles of Ralph’s Traditional Cider left, so come back here for another cider recipe soon! As always, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!