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)
Happy Monday everyone and welcome to a new week on decor8. I’m finishing up on the edits for my next book and working on the upcoming Blogging Your Way e-class, in addition to prepping the baby’s room and enjoying the fact that today I am officially SIX months pregnant, so I’m a bit bonkers right now! Though I’m a relatively happy bonkers so that’s okay I guess. But I do have some bad news…
With the start of my 6th month ALL of my nausea is back and oh my, it’s not too fun. Eeeeeek! This is such bad news because I thought I was over it and was ready to do SO MUCH to my home to prep for my baby boy. I had extreme nausea until week 18 (remember when I told you I was severely dehydrated and lost 20 lbs?!) and then poof! It was gone. Like a beautiful miracle. I felt like the happiest person alive. But now, only 6 weeks later, it’s back and I’m not so pleased at all. I’m trying so hard to stay positive and focused on the good things and to simply endure it with a smile but it is SO HARD. One thing that helps though is to focus on what I love in life – like decorating and being with my friends – and how much fun it can be to try new things at home. Which leads me to a DIY project that I want to share that I’m calling Fun Frames because really, these were a lot of fun to pull together.
I was feeling bored with having only a mirror above my gray wooden cabinet where I stash all of my fabrics and notions, so I thought I’d bring some pattern and color to the corner through frames and pieces of wallpaper by Abigail Ryan. I think this is a really cute look for a crafty space. Do you remember this post where I debuted her hand-illustrated wallpapers? Well I found a sweet spot for her patterns – inside of simple wooden frames that I painted Arsenic by Farrow & Ball. I’m a huge fan of Farrow & Ball paints, in fact I want to paint the baby’s room in one of their gray tones. They cover so well and the matte finish is gorgeous.
Here’s what I did:
Step one: I cleaned (soap and water) some frames that I had laying around that were basically collecting dust in my cabinet — and removed the glass and painted them in Arsenic. I used two coats to make them extra bright and pretty. I let them dry for a day.
Step two: I cut pieces of wallpaper by Abigail Ryan in Cosmo Margarita to fit the frame and taped each piece on the reverse side of the frame. I tried to center the pretty parts of the pattern – you may want to hold them up and mark with a pencil as I did to make sure you are showing the part of the pattern that you want to show.
Step three: Next, I cut some vintage illustrations from a botanicals book that was falling apart and added a few cutouts to the frames – one directly on the pattern in the larger frame and two tiny cut outs on the border of the smallest frame. I wanted to keep the theme of flowers for this look to work with the cosmo print on the papers and the green frames.
Step four: Marking the walls, I decided where to hang my frames and hung them – and I taped a pretty illo to the wall with some Liberty-patterned tape, also in a floral.
Step five: I decided to add a little vial to the frame border of the medium frame (lower right) that could hold a few drops of water so that I could display a flower – so I popped in a yellow tulip. The vial weighs so little and has stayed on all summer with only a tiny drop of blue tack (which should be in every decorator’s tool kit!).
Step six: I made a colorful flower arrangement, which is always a welcome and beautiful touch to every space. I made this one using an assortment of pretty things from the local flower shop that I gathered together that made me happy. Roses, craspedia (aka billy buttons), poppies, tulips, lime hydrangea and sweet peas are among the bunch.
Step seven: The final bit is to always stand back, admire, tweak and then admire again. I added some of my fabrics to the top since the cabinet is stuffed with them, a pair of old scissors from my grandmother and a birdy postcard from Emily. Barb gave me the most adorable ceramic white houses so I put them on the frames since they are chunky enough to double as shelves. Funny thing is, since I shot this – I’ve already completely changed up this nook (I am rotating things around every 3 months or so), but I still wanted you to see it because it’s such a sweet idea. This would work in so many rooms – including a craft room, baby’s room, kid’s room, etc.
I hope that you enjoyed my little DIY today. I will do more again soon, I love putting them together for you to show you how EASY it is to change up your little corners. Decorating should be fun. Also a big thanks to Leslie for being my model (she is holding the flowers above in her striped shirt). xo
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Hello everyone — it’s Liz here with another episode of Food In Motion, where each month Jewels and I present a quick video showing what we made recently, along with the recipe, so you can try it yourself. We alternate months, and it being my turn this month, I just had to step in my garden to pick the best apples ever.
These last days have been perfect in our part of Germany! I love waking up to clear skies and crispy-cold air. These are the days when you get on your bike in the morning and wear your scarf and hat for the first time. By noon you usually wonder why you’re wearing not only a scarf, but also your winter jacket, and you peel yourself out of layers and layers, just to soak up the sun, wishing your lunch break would never end. You can just feel how the weather changes and how your mood changes with it. I have put away my summer clothes and packed up the furniture on the terrace, and in the evening I feel like drinking mulled wine.
This week my husband, daughter and I went apple picking in our garden. We’re very fortunate because when we bought our house two years ago we also bought three old apple trees that are only 6.5 ft tall, so picking is easy. We didn’t use any pesticides in the spring either, although we had all kinds of bugs and worms, so the apples really are not perfect. But hey! Who’s perfect anyway? They are totally organic, and that’s a good feeling. We turned our harvest into something SO easy and yummy, everyone can do it in a jiffy: Apple Crumble! Since I love these kind of quick and easy recipes, it’s exactly the right thing for me!
The recipe is enough to make two of these little pans, and it’s best served warm with vanilla ice cream! Nothing says “autumn” like apples, sugar, butter and cinnamon. (Except maybe that mulled wine… cheers!)
Apple Crumble Recipe
10 little apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
butter for the baking dish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celcius. Butter a baking pan and fill it with the cut apples. Sprinkle them with sugar. For the topping combine butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix with hands until there are crumbs. Sprinkle over the apples and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is brown. Serve warm, best with vanilla ice cream.
See you again next month! – Liz