Noëlle Lafarge's fail-safe apple cake

During the wine harvest, everyone loves a desert, but as the cooks are busy it's best to keep it simple. This quick, fail-safe cake was given to me many years ago by the late much-missed Noëlle Lafarge, wife of Michel, of Volnay. Their pickers always ask for it!

Here's my friend Lyn Fry - she swears by this recipe too.

FOR 8 PEOPLE

180 g (6 oz) sugar 3 eggs, 250g (8 oz) plain flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon oil (or equivalent of melted butter)

500 g (1 lb) dessert apples

Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F, 220°C.

Beat the sugar and eggs together until pale. Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then stir into the egg mixture. Lastly, stir in the oil or melted butter.

Peel and core the apples. Cut into chunks. Incorporate them into the batter. Turn into a bottom-lined and greased 25 cm (10 in) cake tin with a removable base and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

Serve warm with crème fraîche. Pears or apricots can be used instead of apples.