Quercyan Apple Cake

Usually I keep my recipes very simple but this, though somewhat harder than usual, really repays the effort. Most of my stay in Quercy is either unremembered or censored, but the recipe remains.


  • 450g/1lb plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g/oz butter, creamed

For The Filling

  • 1.5kg/3lb apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 225g/8oz sugar
  • 120ml/4fl oz rum
  • 85ml/3fl oz orange flower
  • water
  • thinly pared rind of 1 lemon

To Finish

  • 25g/1oz butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • caster sugar


Macerate the sliced apples with the filling ingredients overnight. Strain the apples, reserving the juice.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, put butter and eggs into a well in the centre. Working with the fingertips gradually add 200ml/7fl oz of the liquid from the apples. Work into a smooth and elastic paste with your hand and leave to rest for 2 hours. Roll out as thinly as possible, then transfer to a floured cloth on a large table. Working from the centre, with the palms of your hands, carefully stretch the paste to the thinness of a cigarette paper. Rest it and yourself for 1 hour.

Brush lightly with melted butter and dust with sugar, cover with well drained apples and roll up. Mix the remaining juice into the beaten egg and brush over the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C/390°F/Gas 5 for 50–55 minutes.