But autumn doesn't start for me until I get a phone call that starts with "Hello H, it's your Dad. Do you want some apples?"
Now it's autumn. You can proceed with everything sweet and spiced.
Sticky Apple Topping
3 dessert apples
Juice of half a lemon
4 tbsp of runny honey
2 tbsp of golden syrup
Pinch of ground ginger
100gr unsalted butter
80gr light brown sugar
50gr golden syrup
20gr black treacle
160gr self raising flour
1tbsp ground ginger
1, Turn your slow cooked onto high and place two small upturned saucers in the bottom. Pour in a couple of inches of hot water and put the lid on. You will need more hot water later so keep the kettle full.
2, Peel, core and slice the apples into eight segments. Toss them in the rest of the sticky apple topping ingredients in a small bowl and arrange them in the base of a 7 inch round cake tin. Pour whatever is left in the bowl over the top. Set this to one side whilst you make the sponge.
3, Melt the butter in a small saucepan and remove from the heat. Stir through the sugar, syrup and treacle until smooth. Leave this to cool slightly and beat in the eggs and water. Transfer this to a mixing bowl.
4, Sift in the flour, baking powder, and ginger. Stir through until smooth and fully combined. Pour this on top of the apples carefully and it should level itself out. Take a sheet of foil, and cover the top of the cake tin. Make sure that you scrunch the edges of the foil around the edges of the cake tin. You don't want any steam getting into the cake and making it soggy.
5, Gently lower the cake into the hot slow cooker. Make sure it doesn't touch the sides or the bottom of the slow cooker, have it rest on the saucers. Pour in more hot water until it is half way up the sides of the cake tin.
6, Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook for at least 4 hours without uncovering it. It's tempting to sneak a peak but leave it for the first four hours. If you take the lid off the slowcooker, you will increase the cooking time of the cake hugely. As every slow cooker varies, so will cooking times. Mine was perfect at exactly four hours. You want the top to be springy to the touch and just starting to pull away from the edges. You can test it is cooked through by inserting a skewer. It should come out clean.
7, Serve warm or cold.
7, Serve warm or cold.