|After the first few slices…
Wandering through the local cottage gardens on our walk earlier this week, I found apples. For full disclosure, I have to admit that I had a strong suspicion that this would happen, being that it’s apple season and in previous years there have been apples lying all over the yards in the cottage area, and occasionally, one or more of the owners, instead of hauling his or her apple crop off to the compost heap, will place a box or basket full of apples outside of the cottage gate, free for the taking. So stuffed into the pocket of my bright pink down jacket, was a plastic bag in the off-chance that this year would prove to be as bountiful as the previous ones. Without my own apple tree, I love when I can get a pile of “local organic apples” just down the trail from where I live. And for further disclosure: since I love wandering around in the outdoors, and I know that there is nearly always something I can forage, there is is nearly always a plastic bag stuffed into the pocket of whatever item of clothing it is that I happen to be wearing on the trek.
But now I digress. Back to the apples. All 8 kilograms of them.
It rained all week, hard. The wind blew vigorously. The mercury levels were up and down. The leaves on the birches all around are a golden yellow, and slowly departing the branches and covering the ground with a brilliant carpet. The apples went much the same way as the leaves, and the ground underneath any apple tree is now covered with apples. It’s been unseasonably warm: this time last year we’d seen frost already, but now I’ve been wearing a spring coat over my suit to work most days – partly because we haven’t pulled the winter clothes out of storage yet, and partly because it’s been unusually balmy. I love this time of year!
But it’s also been a busy week, month, season. Friday night I came home and all I wanted was a big cup of tea and a nice piece of apple cake. Since I hadn’t baked or blogged in a while (sorry guys!) I decided it was high time to take advantage of that apple windfall (no pun intended, really.)
So I combined different flours, including almond flour, because if felt like a good idea. I added spices I associate with fall, stuffed as many apples, sliced with the skin on, as I could fit in there, added a crumble topping for crunch, and tossed it in the oven to bake.
We ate half of one of the cakes 10 minutes after I pulled it out of the oven, topped with vanilla ice cream. I had another small slice for breakfast with morning coffee (hey – it’s Saturday!). It was fabulous warm – with the ice cream melting over the warm cake and pooling on the plate. It was fabulous this morning, cool and moist with the apple flavors blending in with the spice flavors in the cake and contrasting nicely with the buttery crunch of the nut crumble. And, ah, it wasn’t bad a few moments ago either as I finished off what was left of cake #1 in the pan on the counter when I went to the kitchen to stir the apple butter cooking there.
|Mighty fine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
I think you’re going to like this one. It’s really easy to throw together; takes about 40 minutes to bake and you’ll be left with two 8″ cakes to enjoy. I was planning to freeze one of the cakes – I think it would freeze beautifully – but I won’t know this time as I’m afraid there will be no cake left…
Apple Almond Cake with Nut Crumble Topping
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F
- Lightly oil and flour two 8″ round cake pans. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom of each pan and place one in the bottom of each pan.
Apples: Core, halve, and slice 8 medium-size tart organic apples. Do not peel. Set aside. (If you are not using organic apples, I recommend peeling them)
Nut Crumble: In a small bowl, combine well and set aside:
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used half pecans and half walnuts)
1/4 cup butter, melted
In a large bowl combine:
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a small bowl combine:
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
3/4 cup olive oil
Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or spoon to combine well. Add the apples and stir until all apple slices are coated with the cake batter. Divide between the 2 round pie pans. Divide the crumble evenly over the two cakes. Bake 40 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving. If you want to remove cakes from pan, do so after the cooling period (you may lose some of the crumble topping in the process). The cakes will keep at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 3 days, if you don’t eat them before then.
Makes two 8″ cakes