from one generation to the next
Arriving at our B&B at the end of one long driving day, we were directed to a huge 3BR self contained apartment, only catch was there was no breakfast included in the tariff.
Athalone was slow to waken on that Saturday morning and in desperation to find coffee, we asked in a menswear shop, (the only place we found open), where we could find a good breakfast. We were directed to “A Slice of Life”.
While Leah and I chose conventional breakfast food, Mal chose apple pie, then long lean Mal had a second serve of apple pie. It was declared the best he’d ever tasted and from then on, every apple dessert to pass his lips has been rated 1-10 on the “Athalone scale”.
Mal adores apples in dessert but unfortunately they are one of my dietary no-nos. Weekend house guests created the perfect opportunity for me to indulge him.
I started out intending to make a Neil Perry recipe that was published in the weekend press a few weeks ago, but by the time I substituted this and that, I realised the only similarity was cake with apples on top, but I was inspired by his Italian Apple Cake.
My cake lost it’s visual appeal in the oven. The batter rose up and around my skin up apple slices. In hind sight it may have been better to lay the apple flat overlapping one another as the recipe suggested. It’s a small and pretty pointless criticism considering how good they say my cake tasted. I served it warm for dessert topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt, but it was much better cold the next day.
On the Athalone scale, my willing taste testers rated this Walnut Apple Cake 9/10. (Perhaps they weren’t brave enough to say otherwise!)
3 medium sized sweet red apples ( I used Pink Lady)
1 lemon juiced
150g soft unsalted butter
150g raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g white spelt flour
100g ground walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder*
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons extra of raw sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 22cm round springform cake pan. Line the base of the pan with baking paper.
Quarter the apples, remove the core and cut each quarter into 4 wedges. Toss the apple slices in lemon juice to prevent browning.
Cream the softened butter, sugar, vanilla extract and orange rind until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the walnut meal then yoghurt, stirring thoroughly to combine.
Add the flour sifted with the baking powder then the orange juice. Mix until batter is smooth.
Spoon the cake batter into prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. Lay the apples overlapping in concentric circles on the top of the cake, then sprinkle the combined cinnamon and extra sugar over the top.
Bake for about 45minutes, or until cooked when tested with skewer. Rest for 10 minutes before removing the outer ring of the cake tin. Cool
* I make aluminium free baking powder using 1/3 tsp cream of tartar plus 2/3 teaspoon bicarbonate.