We went apple picking over the weekend at a couple of the orchards along Beltana Road, Pialligo. Pialligo is one of the earliest European-settled areas of Australia. Some of the trees in these orchards date back to the 1930s. The Hauptmanns, who have owned the Beltana orchard since 1952 were the first to grow Gala apples in Australia.
We had a beautiful time and it was so easy to forget that we were metres away from the Canberra Airport and business centre.
My kids love apples but we were so flush with apples from our own and my dad's trees that I baked a few of my favourite apple cakes and gave them away, keeping one for us.
I am a lazy sort of cook. I don't even like multi-use gadgets like the Thermomix because I hate to get them out and the clean them afterwards. One pot or one bowl recipes are all I seem to cook. I'm ok with this because the food is simple and not over prepared.
This recipe is an adaptation from the one on goop by Tamra Davis. It literally tastes like a combination of baked apples, cinnamon dusted donuts, and the best apple pie you've ever eaten. The best thing about it is, aside from peeling and chopping apples (which is ok because there are lots of apples in it and that makes it healthy - right?), you just mix it all up in a bowl with a fork. Then you have to wait 60 excruciating minutes for it to bake. Eat it warm. EAT IT WARM.
- 1 cup sugar (plus extra for dusting)
- 1/2 stick of butter (125g, softened or near melted)
- 1/2 cup grated apple
- 1 egg
- 11/4 cups plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus extra for dusting)
- 1/2 teaspons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (not flakes, fine salt)
- 2 1/2 cups apples, peeled and chopped into 1inch pieces
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Grease and line (just the base is enough, skip the sides) a cake tin or flan tin.
- Mix the sugar, butter, grated apple and egg together in a bowl with a fork. Add the dry ingredients to same bowl and keep stirring until combined.
- You can now either add the apples or just toss half of them into your tin, top with the mixture then push the other half of the apples onto the mixture, then smooth over a spoon to reduce gaps. Perfection is not really your friend in this recipe because it is a rustic cake that is full of apples. So just try to make sure the apples are evenly dispersed throughout the mixture.
- Put in oven. Wait nearby with anticipation for about 40-60 minutes. It is ready when top is brown (not dark brown) and skewer comes out clean from mixture (not apple piece).
- As soon as you take it out of the oven, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon so it is reminiscent of a cinnamon donut. Cover with tea towel. Take a short nap. Gently remove from tin and eat it. Please make this, you'll love it.