The apple cake can be made with pear or quince if desired.
3 medium-size sweet red apples
10-20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
150g soft unsalted butter
150g caster sugar, plus 25g extra
5ml vanilla extract
finely grated rind of 1 orange
200g plain flour
5g baking powder
pinch of fine salt
20ml Grand Marnier
ground cinnamon, for dusting
Grand Marnier mascarpone
40ml double cream
15g caster sugar
10ml Grand Marnier
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 22cm round cake pan; line the base and sides of pan with double thickness of baking paper to extend 2cm above the side of pan.
Peel and core apples and cut each apple into 16 slices. Toss apple slices in lemon juice to prevent browning.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, vanilla extract and orange rind until light and creamy. Add eggs separately, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the flour mixture to butter mixture and stir well. Add milk, liqueur and remaining flour mixture, and mix until batter is smooth. Spoon batter into prepared cake tin. Combine extra sugar and cinnamon and toss with apple slices to give a light coating. Overlap apple slices in a concentric circle over top of batter.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until cooked when tested with skewer. Stand in tin 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.
To make Grand Marnier mascarpone, combine all ingredients and whisk gently until well combined and soft peaks form. Serve alongside apple cake with a sweet dessert wine.