Monday, July 30, 2007

Irish Apple Cake

350g/12oz/3cups plain (all purpose) flour
1tsp baking powder
125g/4oz/1stick butter
150g/5oz/2/3 cup caster (granulated) sugar
1 organic egg, beaten
4-8 tbsp milk
3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp grated nutmeg
grated zest of 1 organic lemon (scrub and wash well if not using organic)
Milk to glaze
Granulated sugar to sprinkle

Heat the oven to 180c/350f. Butter a 24cm (9.5 inch) tart tin with a removable base (if you can, use one with fluted sides because it makes the cake look even prettier).
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in the sugar, then mix in the egg and enough milk to make a soft dough. If you can, roll about half the scone dough out to a 24cm (9.5 inch) round and line the tart tin, but if your dough is too soft and sticky to roll out, don’t worry, simply spread about half of it over the base of the tin.
Toss the apples with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon, and arrange over the dough. Roll or spread out the rest of the dough over the apples. Score the dough with a knife quite deeply in a criss-cross pattern. The cake is prettiest with bits of apple peeping out through a patchwork of golden crust. Give the dough a quick brushing with milk then pop into the oven on to a hot baking tray and bake for 45 minutes, until the apple is soft and the crust golden.
Place on a wire rack, unmould and let cool slightly. Dredge with sugar and serve warm with thick cream.

This recipe is from Favourite Recipes Books For Cooks. I have to say, this cookbook does not disappoint. The cool thing about this cake is that it is sort of halfway between scone and cake, which makes it just about the best thing in the world to have with coffee. I made this the other day because some people were coming over and I realized that I had absolutely nothing in the house to offer them. I like to be able to offer people something, even if it’s just a small thing, so I thought I would try this recipe because I did have a few apples.

This was dead easy to make. My dough was too sticky to roll, so I just mashed it into the pan like it said in the recipe. One tip; it’s much easier to do that if you flour your hands first. Also it said to dredge it with sugar and serve it with cream, but as it was earlier in the day (not really dessert time), I skipped that, and I think it was so good all on it’s own, I don’t know why you would want to add any extra sweetness to it.

I will absolutely be making this again, no question.

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