I have made A LOT of apple cakes in my time. Personally, I’d rather eat apple cake than crumble or pie. It’s more versatile for a start, because it works well as a pudding and as a teatime cake. My sons tease me about how I make a distinction between cakes that work as puddings and those that don’t.
The apple cake I made this morning is for my son W, who turns 26 tomorrow. I remember lying on the maternity ward after he was born on 11 February 1990, watching Nelson Mandela walk to freedom on my neighbour’s tiny televison set. But I digress.
Sadly, I will not be seeing W on his birthday this time. I’m staying in Bristol to keep an eye on Granny. But it’s fine, because we’re all getting together very soon. His dad took the cake up to London with him this afternoon.
I discussed what cake W might like with his brother G, and we agreed apple cake was probably his favourite, and it didn’t matter that it’s perhaps not very birthday cake-y. I decided to make this one.
We also love my Norwegian grandmother’s apple cake, which we eat all year round but ALWAYS on Christmas Eve; it’s tradition. Perhaps I’ll let you have that recipe another time.
W has just been in touch to say they had some cake tonight because they’ll be at work tomorrow and eating out in the evening. Any excuse! Anyway, I hadn’t realised W hadn’t tried this particular apple cake before. He says he loved it, especially the cardamom. I’m glad they ate some today when it was at its freshest. No-one wants to eat stale cake.
Mamma Moore’s Apple Cake
Grease and line the bottom of a 23cm/9″ springform cake tin
- 225g self-raising flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of ground cardamom seeds (I grind them in a pestle and mortar)
- A grating of fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
- 100g cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 450g cooking apples
- a little lemon juice
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 50g demerara sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Sift flour, bicarb, salt and spices into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly
- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
- Peel the apples and cut into small, thin pieces. Toss them in lemon juice as you go, to keep them from browning
- Mix the apples, caster sugar and eggs into the butter/flour mixture and gently fold through until everything is thoroughly mixed
- Turn into your cake tin and level off the top
- Mix the Demerara and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter
- With the rack on the third set of rungs, bake in the baking oven for about 35 minutes. Test with a skewer
- Leave in the tin to cool a little before turning out
- Delicious served hot or warm with whipped or clotted cream