Jul 21, 2009

Irish Apple Cake

If there was a Dessert for Dummies book (maybe there is?) this Apple Cake would be in it. It's fast, easy, satisfying, doesn't use too many dishes, and looks/tastes impressive. Given that I don't have much to offer by way of intelligent conversation at dinner parties, I figure I can at least arrive with a good dessert. But don't feel you have to save it for dinner parties, or indeed even share it. Apple Cake is best straight from the oven, christened in fresh cream (what isn't?), served with fingers not forks. It's also yummy the next day at breakfast with a little butter and jam (and fried banana if you're Elvis). If you do share and you want to impress your hosts, you can refer to this cake by it's other name, Kerry Apple Cake, and get misty-eyed when you hand it over because it reminds you of your granny. Be warned that other Irish people will poke fun at your Kerry Cake, not because they know something you don't about your granny, but because Kerrymen are always the butt of Irish jokes.

5 apples
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
Splash of milk
1/2 cup of superfine sugar
Handful of granulated sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Throw flour, baking powder, and salt all together in a large bowl. Go for a bowl bigger than the one you usually use as you'll need a little elbow room to mix in the apples.
3. Cut in your butter until the mixture resembles lumpy breadcrumbs.

4. Peel and core your apples.
Note: Irish apple recipes always call for "cooking apples," a wonderful oversized apple perfectly designed for apple tarts and cakes. Of course, there is no such thing as a cooking apple in the States, I suppose because there are so many apples this side of the Atlantic fighting for the title. I use Granny Smiths, because I favor the tart taste, but you can use the apple of your eye, whatever variety it may be.
Slice your apples thinly and them fling them in to the flour mixture, along with the half cup of superfine sugar.
6. Now, dig in there with your paws and mix it up. This is a hearty--not pretty--cake, so don't be shy.

7. Add the eggs and the splash of milk to make a messy doughy mix, and slap it all into your baking pan. I use a silicone cake pan, so I don't have to grease a pan or struggle to release the finished cake.

8. Sprinkle generously with your handful of granulated sugar and then pop it in the oven for 40--45 minutes, until it is golden brown and you can no longer control yourself with the smell of hot apples. Tip: stick a toothpick in the middle of the cake and if it comes out gooey, give it another five minutes in the oven.

9. Remember: an apple[cake] a day keeps the doctor away. Dig in!


Katie H. said...

Yum! I will have to try this. I have been in the baking mood lately and now have a plan!

The militant working boy said...

I made this for friends on St. Patrick's Day and it was fantastic with a scoop of Hagen Daas vanilla ice cream and an Irish coffee afterward, Thanks for a wonderful comfort food recipe!

Smbumblebee said...

Love this cake too, thanks for the recipe, goes down a treat everytime! x

Jacinta said...

Delighted to hear I'm not the only one loving this simple, delicious cake! I might make one this weekend now that it's back on my mind!

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