Apple blossom squares

These apple blossom squares are infused with both fruit juice and fresh fruit for maximum flavour. Try serving the bake with a generous dusting of icing sugar and drizzling with your choice of custard for a comforting pud.

apple blossom squares
Chris Alack

MAKES 1 X 23CM CAKE

100ml apple juice
75g light muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
90ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the tin
150g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
2 medium eggs
75g golden caster sugar
1-2 red-skinned eating apples (or as needed, see method)
40g chopped pistachios

1. Place the apple juice and light muscovado sugar in a small pan then slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and leave to cool for 15 minutes. 

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 then oil and line a 23cm square, 4cm deep baking tin. Sift the flour and ginger into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, golden caster sugar and oil in a medium bowl then slowly add this to the flour, stirring. Add the apple juice mixture in two goes, gently mixing until smooth (it is quite runny). Pour into the prepared tin. Quarter, core and thinly slice the eating apples downward and scatter over the top, followed by the pistachios. Bake the squares for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges. 

TOP& SERVE If wished, dust with icing sugar and edible apple blossom, if available. Serve warm as a pud with cream or custard, or leave to cool and serve with your favourite teatime brew. 

CUSTARD CHEATS Three instant custards that we love: Ambrosia Devon Custard, £1, tesco.com; Madagascan Vanilla Custard, £2.40, Marks & Spencer stores; Oatly Vanilla Custard, £1.20, ocado.com

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.