Happy Thanksgiving everybody.
As far as cakes go, this is not something I do very often, but with an abundance of apples this year I thought, why not?
What I love about this cake is the contrast in textures, the cake being moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, that coupled with the sweet taste of baked apples exudes an aroma one can only describe as sweet and heavenly.
Celebrate the harvest with a cake that revels in the apple bounty and will be enjoyed by anyone who tastes it. Perhaps, over time, this wonderful cake will become a staple in your home at Thanksgiving time.
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup fine white breadcrumbs
Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour (all-purpose)
3 tablespoon peach preserve
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon cinnamon
5 large apples
½ icing sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups freshly whipped cream
8 sprigs mint leaves.
Place the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, granulated sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup flour, then whisk together. Make a well in the center and add egg, vanilla, and ½ cup softened butter. Using a large spoon, stir until dough starts to form large chunks. Using lightly floured hands, knead very gently inside bowl until dough comes together. Then set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and sides of a spring-form pan with butter, then coat with breadcrumbs, tapping out all excess.
Using lightly floured hands, place dough inside the pan pressing into bottom, create an even layer all around. Spread apricot preserves in a thin layer over surface of dough using a small spoon.
Peel and quarter apples. Slice the core out of each quarter then arrange apples flat side down onto a cutting board. Carefully slice crosswise in each quarter, try not to cut through, you want to keep the apples in one shingled piece. Arrange apple quarters in concentric circles, covering as much of the dough as possible, patterns make this an eye watering cake.
Bake cake, rotating pan halfway through the baking time, until apples and crust are golden in color, 55–60 minutes. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
While the cake is baking, place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Gradually pour in lemon juice, whisking constantly making a spreadable glaze.
Remove sides of spring-form pan and lightly brush the top and sides of the cake with the glaze. Let cool completely before transferring to a platter. Serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprig of mint for colour.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications and a trained chef.