Mixed bags of apples are always the best kind. They usually contain a couple of minor bruises or imperfections, but we find that these type are often riper than apples lined up neatly on the fruit stands, and they cost far less.
Grocers local to us usually bag up combinations of:
This gives us a nice variety of apples to both eat fresh and cook with. We picked up a large bag last weekend for AU$1.50 – half filled with Granny Smiths, and half with Pink Ladies.
This weekend we decided we would bake a cake. Diana’s Desserts had a great recipe for Apfelkuchen (Spicy Apple Cake) so we decided to give it a shot. We followed their recipe quite closely, though admittedly made a few variations to suit our own pantry. The end result was a cake that seemed to emphasise the very essence of the apples, with apple baked inside the cake as well as layered on top. The texture was similar to a muffin – not too moist, not too dry – and the quantities of sugar and spices were just right to produce a subtle yet flavoursome cake that was sweet but not sickly. Delicious with coffee for morning tea! Here is how the recipe went…
115g plain flour
115g wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
1 medium-sized apple, chopped (we used a Granny Smith)
175g brown sugar
grated orange rind (we used some homemade candied orange peel)
1/2 cup milk
4 apples, cored and finely sliced (we used a combination of Granny Smiths and Pink Ladies)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons caster sugar
3-4 tablespoons quince jelly or apricot jam
Method (with thanks in most part to Diana’s Desserts)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23cm round removable cake pan. Sift the flours, baking powder and spices together in a bowl.
- Cream the butter, brown sugar, spices and orange rind together until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour mixture, the chopped apple and the milk.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake pan and level the surface.
- For the topping, toss the apple slices in the orange juice and evenly sprinkle on top of the cake mixture. Press down lightly.
- Sprinkle the caster (superfine) sugar over the top and bake for 1 – 1 & 1/4 hours, or until risen and firm. Cover with foil if the apples brown too much.
- Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.
- Heat the jam or jelly in a microwave with a tablespoon or so of water. Use this mix to glaze the apples on top of the cake. You can also paint the sides of the cake to give it a nice glossy appearance.
Cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream or sour cream sprinkled with cinnamon. Wonderful with a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
The same dish using beurre bosc pears.