If you're like me, you might have a bag full of local apples sitting in the pantry - and you need to use them now, or they'll go off. What to do with this abundance? If you've made enough tarts and crumbles to stave off cravings til the end of 2020, maybe you should try this delicious German apple cake.
Cake is my favourite way to eat cooking apples in the autumn. They're often too tart for me in pies and crumbles; requiring copious amounts of sweetened cream or custard. In a cake like this one, I find the tart apples are well-balanced with the sweet, crumbly cake.
This cake isn't light and fluffy; it's dense and buttery. Use a smaller springform pan if you prefer a thicker cake - I like mine on the thin side; almost like a tart. The cake is great when it's served warm; but the next day is even better - the juices from the apples have time to settle into the cake; resulting in a really gorgeous flavour and texture.
125g softened butter
135g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
128g plain flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 tbsp apricot preserve, warmed
3 cooking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
100g icing sugar
Juice of one lemon
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the centre.
3. Add the softened butter, egg and vanilla. Working gently, start to combine the wet ingredients into the dry. I use my hands, but you can use a spatula or a large fork to do this. You want to slowly form a soft, pliable dough (it might be quite sticky; you can sprinkle a little more flour over the top of you're having trouble working the dough with your hands).
4. When the dough is combined, gently press it into the bottom of the greased springform pan; using your fingers to work it in (again, you can sprinkle a bit of flour over top if it's too sticky).
5. Gently spread the warmed apricot preserves over the surface of the cake, so the entire surface is thinly coated.
6. Place the peeled and thinly sliced apples into the top of the cake; gently pressing them into the top.
7. Bake in the preheated over until the cake is golden brown and the apples are slightly softened - time will vary depending on your oven, but it usually takes 45-55 minutes. Check with a skewer inserted into the centre at 45 minutes; it should come out clean.
8. Cool the cake in the tin, on a wire rack, for 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the tin and cool completely.
9. Make the glaze: mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice until smooth. Brush or drizzle over the top of the cake.
* This cake will keep for five days in an airtight container.