Saturday, 1 November 2014

Apple Cake for All Saints Day


This is one of my favourite cakes. I don't make it very often, but in the last few years I have made it on November 1st, maybe because it's such a contemplative recipe. It's you, a bowl of apples and a couple of hours in the kitchen. But don't worry, it's worth the effort. Today I'm making two cakes as I'm giving one away. I think the best cake tin for this cake is a plain round one, but mine has gone missing. So I'm relying on an old bundt (which also works beautifully, but do use small apples or they will stick to the inner core of the tin). It takes time but it actually quite easy to make.
Granny Smith apples work best for this recipe. Other apples fall apart. Core your apples. Your apple size will depend on the size of your tin. Because I am using a bundt tin, I have opted for the smallest apples I could find and they really are little. This makes coring them a little difficult, so take your time. You want a nice, neat cored out shape. And if you can, try to make the bottom hole of the apple as small an exit as possible. Flesh out the middle, but keep the bottom smaller. 
Now, I don't now about you, but I can't find an apple core-ing tool for love or money! I have been through 3x in the last 12 months alone. The handles just completely separate from the metal corer and it's a real nuisance (it also always happens when the tool is stick in the apple so you have to cut it out too). I'd really love to find an apple corer that works, so if you know of one, please let me know. This tool I'm using here - I don't even know what it is.I found it in our cutlery drawer and it nicked all my fingers which reminds me that I need to find one.
In a pan, add your cored apples and gently stew/steam them for about 10-15 minutes in about a cup of water and fresh lemon juice. It's really important that you don't over stew the apples or use too much liquid, you want to lightly brown and soften them, without them going to mush. This is the hardest part and requires patience and care.
They should be just starting to tender but firm enough to stuff without falling apart. Whilst your apples are softening, make the apple filling. Now, there is no recipe for this. You make it according to taste. Simply mix walnuts (any nuts will do), vanilla extract, lemon zest, cinnamon and sugar to taste. I use brown sugar and I use very little because I don't have a taste for sugary things. Just mix it all together until it makes a delicious firm filling. I usually add just enough butter to make all the ingredients combine. I mix mine up in my Ninja.

Everyone always wants to know how I like my new Ninja. Well, it's fine. I'm trying to downsize my kitchen and the Ninja was a good choice for me. I do like it and it's useful in many ways, but I will just warn you that the blades are lethal. Everyone who touches it somehow seems to cut themselves and I've done that myself a few times too. Wash it straight away because the blades are difficult to clean. This seems so obvious, but I've never had a kitchen tool inure so many adults before. I think it works great, but I wouldn't have it in a household with a child or teenager. It's just too sharp. 

 Butter the cake tin and stuff your softened apples with the nut fulling carefully, keeping apples intact. Make the cake batter and pour over the apples, about 3/4 high in the tin, just covering the apples as the cake batter will rise a little.

November Apple Cake Recipe
Stuffing: nuts (about a cup), vanilla, zest of 1 lemon, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and butter to taste. Mix all ingredients together into a firm paste. 

Cake mixture: (my DD used packet cake mix with this recipe when she ran out of ingredients, and it was delicious, so don't be afraid to experiment. Any good cake base mixture will do.) The real work is in the apples. 
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed 
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 280g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  • Place the butter, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well until smooth. Bake for 35-45 mins (depending on oven) until golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 mins, then turn out of tin. Cut into slices.
Lovely

I don't feature many recipes on this blog, simply because I don't bake all that much. However if you are interested in what I call 'old fashioned' recipes like this, you might like to visit the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog. I love it over there. And don't let my definition of 'traditional' put you off. When I say traditional, I mean honest ingredients and real cooking. Mind you, they have a lot of easily prepared dishes too and when I'm stuck for dinner ideas, I like to pop in and inspire myself. They cook the way I eat so it's easy for me to 'find something for dinner.' And I'm so grateful that they're there because when my DDs can't find my 'old family recipe book' they just check out the Mennonite blog, they always find what they're looking for. 

Happy baking :) 

8 comments:

  1. Hi Esther
    The cake looks lovely. I am using a normal potato peeler also for appels and that works always very good.
    Greetings

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  2. Yum! Thanks for the recipe and the link. Like Marina, I use my potato peeler. But here's one to check out: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/cuisipro-apple-corer/?cm_src=AutoRel have heard good things about it.

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  3. Thank you very much for recipe! I will try to make one!

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  4. I have never seen a recipe for an apple cake using whole apples before and it sounds wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to share this.

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  5. Mmm... I can almost smell the apples baking! Vicarious Internet apple cakes are the best kind for my diet right now. But the drool is not so good for my keyboard. :-)

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  6. Delicious, I have to try an applecake this way. Sunday my daughter and granddaughter will visit us, so I have the opportunity to try! Thanks for sharing.
    Love from Amsterdam,

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    ReplyDelete

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