Apple cake has a long German tradition. Like lemon trees in New Zealand, we have apple trees in our backyards. Since the medieval age, apples have been used in autumn to bake and cook sweet dishes. Now that we have apples available all year round, there is no need to wait till autumn and harvest season. However now is the right time to eat a nice and hot cake on a cold autumn day. Lets go.
The old German applecake is a cake with a “lid” with shortpastry as a base. It needs about 45 minutes to be prepared + 60 minutes baking time.
Ingredients for the shortpastry
- 400g flour
- 1 package baking powder (3 tsp)
- 200g sugar
- 200g butter
- 1 egg
For the apple filling
- 1kg apples
- 1 cup of water
- 1 package of vanilla sugar (2 level tea spoons)
- If you like some raisins
- 1 egg yolk
- Icing sugar to decorate the cake
- Start with the dough by mixing the egg, butter and sugar to a creamy mass, then carefully add flour with baking powder. Since the dough will be quite heavy, use the mixer’s dough hooks or work the dough by hand, which is what I did.
- When you have one nice lump, wrap it in cellophane and put it in the fridge for cooling.
- Now peel apples and remove the stones, cut them in pieces and together with vanilla sugar, 1 cup of water (and raisins) put them in a saucepan and heat the mix up, so as to soften the apples. Make sure you don’t cook the apples, as they are supposed to take up the added fluid.
- While the apples are on the stove, take the dough
out of the fridge and cut off about a good ¼, to make the lid. For this, roll out the dough on floured baking paper and use the form’s outer ring to cut out the lid. Now that you have the dough on the baking paper, you can move it around the kitchen and put it aside. You might wonder, why I wrapped my rolling pin in cellophane- to prevent the dough from sticking to the wood.
- Roll out the rest of the dough and put it in the assembled form. Make sure you also pull the dough up the sides of the form and not have any fissures in the dough. These would lead to the apple juice leaking into your oven.
- By now the apples should be nice soft and mushy and ready to be filled in the form. Place the lid on top and bend the sides, back down on top of the lid. The picture shows the before and after state. If you don’t want to bend down the sides, your cake is more likely to be dark brown or burnt. We want to avoid that by all means. I was so curious to test how bad it turns out, if you don’t bend down the sides. I have to admit it looks and tastes better, if you follow the instructions!
- Use a mango fork or something sharp to pinch some holes in the top, so as to avoid it separating from the apple filling while baking.
- Spread the egg yolk over the top of the cake and bake it at 160°C (320°F) circulating mode for (45-)60 minutes.
- When taking the cake out of the oven, decorate it with some icing sugar and serve it with vanilla ice cream, while still warm. Alternatively when cooled down, serve it with whipped cream. Again I tested it for you and burnt my mouth. So be careful, the filling is HOT!