Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mum's Apple Crumble Cake

This is one of the recipes that I found amongst the scraps of papers my Mum writes her recipes on. I was so happy she still had this one because it was my favourite of the cakes that she made while I was growing up, and I was worried she had lost it because unfortunately she had lost an entire file full of recipes she had collected over the years. She originally got the recipe off an old family friend that she knew while living in England. The recipe only listed the ingredients (which I had to tentatively convert from ounces to grams) and no method but my Mum's made the recipe so many times she could do it with her eyes closed. It was just a matter of me dragging her into the kitchen and placing an apple in front of her.

This cake is a hybrid of a traditional apple cake and an apple crumble. It makes a fairly small, short cake which has the most wonderful brown crumble on top and a buttery cake base. It's a pretty dry cake so I think it would be best enjoyed with some whipped cream, vanilla icecream, or warm pouring custard on those really cold winter days.

Mum's Apple Crumble Cake
For the cake:
115g self raising (approx 1 cup plain flour + 2 tsp baking baking powder), sifted
a pinch of salt
60g butter, softened
60g sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thinly
ground cinnamon

For the crumble:
85g self raising (approx. 1/2 cup plain flour + 1 tsp baking powder)
60g sugar
30 butter
1 tbsp water for mixing
gr0und cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Cream butter and sugar for the cake until light and creamy. Add in the egg and vanilla then beat on medium until combined. Add the flour (and baking powder), milk and the salt and beat on low until just combined. Avoid over-beating. The mixture should be a thick paste. Spread the mixture fairly evenly over the base of a lined 19cm round cake tin. Don't panic if there looks like there's not enough mixture to cover the base of the pan. I started to freak out because it wasn't even touching the edge of the pan and my mum shut me up and told me as long as it is not too uneven, the mixture will spread out and fill the tin.

Cover the cake mixture with the apple slices so that they are evenly distributed. Dust apples with a generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon

Now for the crumble. This is the bit that makes the cake so if it doesn't turn out right, the whole cake doesn't turn out right. Put butter, flour (+ baking powder) and sugar in a bowl and rub the mixture between your fingers to combine them. Lift the mixture up high with your hands and let it fall so it traps a bit of air. Add about 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon (I'm not quite sure how much we put in because my Mum just shook in a random amount), then gradually add a 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time, while still combining with your fingertips until the mixture starts to form fairly bit clumps of around 0.5 cm diameter, rather than fine breadcrumbs. We added about 1.5 tbps water.

Spread the crumble mixture over the top of the apples and pat it down ever so slightly, just so the crumble isn't completely loose on the top of the cake, but not enough to flatten the crumble. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crumble on top is golden brown and a skewer comes out of the cake clean. If your cake is cooked and the crumble isn't brown enough for your liking, stick it under the grill for a few minutes to brown up the top.

Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a serving plate. It smells and tastes so amazing when it has just been freshly baked. Eating this cake brings back a lot of childhood memories for me and my brother. The only thing we sometimes think is that it could do with a bit more apple. We only used one large Granny Smith, but I have increased the amount to 2 small ones for this. The cake is fairly small and thin so feel free to double the amount of cake batter, but I like it thin.

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  1. I love apple crumble and I love cake so this looks fantastic!

  2. Look at that gorgeously thick blanket of crumble topping! I confess that is my favourite part of an apple crumble. Good to know that you got the recipe from your mum in the end!

  3. Anita - me too! I love putting two good things together to make one awesome thing :)

    Lorraine - Yup it is definitely the best part by far :D When I was young I used to pick off bits of crumble from the cake when my mum wasn't looking!

  4. Looks delicious. A nice way to have your cake and eat it too :D

  5. I tried this recipe today and the cake turned out great! It's a little too sweet for me but that's because I don't have a sweet tooth. But oh the aroma of a freshly baked apple crumble cake is fantastic!

    Thanks for putting up these awesome recipes!

    - J

  6. I just made this great looking cake for my new cafe can't wait to put it out for the customers.....


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