Hi, it’s Jillian here with a delicious Country Apple Cake recipe for October’s Delicious Bites column. Have you ever been apple picking? Well I did for the first time this year at a little place not far from the Blue Mountains called Bilpin. I was up bright and early and was the first person at the farm so I could get the best of the apples. I picked some granny smiths, my favorite cooking apple and pink ladies, one of my favorite apples to eat. I merrily munched on the them during the long drive back home to Sydney and marveled at how great freshly picked apples really taste. Will you go apple picking this season? Where is your favorite spot?
I came home with my apples in tow and started to think of all the things that I could do with them. I love baking and thought about an apple pie or an apple crumble but decided to share with you one of my all time favorite apple cake recipes. I’ve been making this cake for years and it’s adapted from a recipe which first appeared long ago in the weekend paper. The end result is a cross between a cake and a pie and its both simple to make and best of all, delicious!
First make the filling from your favorite cooking apple as it needs time to cool. I spiced my apples with lemon and cinnamon but you can use whatever spices you like. A little bit of flour is needed to thicken the filling to stop the apple running everywhere when you cut it. If you have any pastry fears, put them aside because the pastry is made in a food processor and you don’t even need to roll out the dough. You just pat the dough into the tin.
Don’t be tempted to reduce the baking time even if the top of the cake looks cooked. Speaking from experience you’ll end up with a gooey half cooked base so just cover the top with a layer of baking paper to prevent it over-browning. The pastry firms up as it cools so give it plenty of time before unmoulding the cake. It’s delicious served with either whipped cream or ice cream or both if you prefer.
Here’s the recipe for you for COUNTRY APPLE CAKE – adapted from a recipe by Amanda Grimwade of the Edible Deli at Benalla, published in Good Weekend magazine.
8 large green apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
2, 20 ml tbs lemon juice
1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
2, 20 ml tbs flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Place the chopped apples and lemon juice in a pan over a medium heat.
Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the apples are just tender.
Take the pan off the heat and add the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir to combine then place to one side and allow the filling to cool completely.
2¼ cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup cornflour (corn starch)
1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
200 gm (7 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup milk
Extra milk and caster sugar
Icing sugar and cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly grease a 23cm/9 inch spring form tin and line the base of the tin with baking paper. Sift the self raising flour with the cornflour. Put the sifted flours, the sugar and the butter into the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. In a small bowl combine the eggs, the vanilla and the milk. With the food processor running, gradually pour in enough of the milk mixture and process until the mixture wraps around the blades. The mixture will be quite soft so using floured hands, press ? of the mixture into the base and up the sides of the tin. Spoon in the apple mixture, which won’t completely fill the tin. Fold over any overhang of pastry from the sides of the tin, then using floured hands, flatten the remaining mixture into a disc and cover the top of the cake. Don’t worry if there are a few holes as they’ll close over as the cake bakes. Brush the top of the cake with milk then sprinkle with a little extra caster sugar.
Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes at 180°C/350°F. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover the top with a piece of grease proof paper. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before unmoulding. As this is a cross between a cake and a pie, the bottom crust will always be a little soft but the top crust will be lovely and crisp. When cool dust with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.
I hope you enjoy the apple cake! I’ll be back next month with something special for Thanksgiving. See you all again next month! – Jillian
(text/photos: jillian leiboff)