Autumn is truly here.
Although I appreciate the beauty of the season, with the changing leaves, the legitimacy of spices such as cinnamon and ginger, and warming soups, it always makes me sad to say goodbye to the warmer weather.
The autumn rains, the low mists and the shorter days also have a habit of dampening my spirits (given the leakiness of the house I live in and my car, sometimes the dampening is literal.)
To cheer myself up, and because there was an appeal for traybakes for a fundraising event at work, I adapted a Smitten Kitchen recipe to give it a more autumnal feel.
This is warm and spicy, with a wonderful crunch on top and lovely sweet squishiness within. I removed the lemon, because with the tart apples, it was redundant, but if you're using a sweeter eating variety, you may prefer to pop it back in.
The biscuit mix is very crumbly - it will look like ground almonds in the bowl, but if you squidge it, it will come together, and it bakes up into a solid biscuit on the base and a crisp crumb on the top.
I don't have a 9"x13" tin, so ended up with a 7"x10" tin and a 500g loaf tin for the extras!
Adapted (anglicised and metric-ified) from Smitten Kitchen
200g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
375g plain flour
225g cold unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
500g diced apple (skin left on, but cores, stalks and fuzzy bits removed) - I used a mixture of two heritage varieties that we grow - Winstons (when newly picked these are tart, but sweeten with storage) and Lord Lambourne) but feel free to use any apple of your choice
150g dried cranberries
1+1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cornflour
1. Preheat the oven to 190 C (170C fan). Grease a 9×13 inch tin.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together 200g sugar, flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt. Use a fork or pastry blender to blend in the butter and egg. The dough will be very crumbly, and resemble ground almonds. Press half of the dough mixture into the prepared tin.
3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornflour and cinnamon. Gently mix in the apple dice and cranberries. Sprinkle the apple mixture evenly over the base. Sprinkle remaining dough over the layer.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown (mine took about 40 minutes). Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.