Yesterday I woke up paralyzed. My neck was completely stuck, and my body just couldn’t move an inch. Lucky me to be staying with my parents until I fly out to the Caribbean onto my next yacht employer, I was able to call out a strangled “MUUM! SOS!” at 6am for a hand sitting up and a good dose of heat cream. So, bedridden as I was for the morning, I had to get up in the afternoon to move around. By then my range of movements was much better and I needed to do something. With that dreaded snow-rain falling outside (you know the one, that awful not quite snow, not quite rain, slush) I didn’t have many options. One look at the overflowing bowl of too-old-to-snack-on apples and I knew my task for the day. Apple cake.
I pulled whatever we had from the cupboards and made this cake with one goal: for it to be moist enough and not too sweet. I like apple cakes to be well spiced but to leave the sweetening to the fruit themselves. So while a cup of sugar seems like a lot, trust me, if you prefer your tea-time cakes less sweet then this recipe is for you.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3 to 3 1/2 cups of cored, quartered and sliced apples (depending on how much you prefer
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 180C (356F). Grease and four a 9-inch cake pan.
Start by whisking together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugars and oil together on low until well combine. Add the eggs one by one, ensuring it is well combined after each egg. Add vanilla and beat together.
Sift a third of the dry mixture in to wet mixture and whisk together. Repeat until all dry mixture is used. At this stage the batter should be almost dough like but not quite, and rather difficult to whisk. Add milk and use a spatula to mix it all into a rich, thick batter. Fold in the apple slices and walnuts (it will seem like a lot of apples and maybe way too many but don’t worry, trust the process).
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and use spatula to spread evenly over the whole pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, checking after 40 minutes to see if you need to cover with a sheet of foil to prevent the top becoming burnt (if it is well browned by this stage I suggest to do this step as I did). Let sit for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or it’s just as delicious with nothing but a cup of tea!
If you have some old apples to use up, please try this recipe and let me know how it went for you and what changes I should make!