Grate the zest from the lemon and place in a large bowl. Cut the lemon in half, extract the juice and place in another bowl.
Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters. Thinly slice enough to decorate the top of the cake, dip into the lemon juice and reserve for later. Chop the rest of the apple into small pieces and add to the lemon juice in the bowl. Stir to make sure all pieces are covered in the juice.
Slowly melt the butter and then leave it to cool.
Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl with the lemon zest and whisk together until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the melted, cooled butter making sure that it is well mixed in.
Fold in the flour and blend gently with a large spoon, do not beat or whisk the mixture at this stage. Add the chopped apple and lemon juice and again fold in gently.
Tip the mixture into the lined tin, smooth the top and decorate the cake with the reserved slices.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The cake should be lightly browned and if a skewer is inserted into the centre it should come out clean. Turn out of the tin and either leave to cool or serve immediately.
In Italy this cake would most likely be eaten for breakfast with a cup of coffee. It would also be eaten cold as a dessert with fresh fruit but it is also good served warm either with ice cream, cream or natural yoghurt.
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