Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Kerry Apple Cake
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Did you know that St. Patrick is said to have planted apple trees in Ireland? Apples have been grown in Ireland for at least 3000 years and legend has it that he planted an apple tree in Ulster County at the ancient settlement of Ceanoga near, what is today called, Armagh. While it is a lovely tale, it's more likely that the Druids, who used apple trees in their rituals, were the ones who first tended apple orchards in Ireland. Prior to English rule, Ireland was governed by a system of law that was codified and administered by the Brehons, who were the successors to the Celtic druids. The Brehons were charged with the preservation and interpretation of laws that had been established by centuries of oral tradition.The Irish took their apple trees seriously. Brehon law stipulated that anyone cutting down an apple tree would be subject to a financial penalty that included the surrender of five cows. I'm not sure what happened to those who had no cows to surrender, but we can be sure they were fined or punished for their transgression. Desserts and beverages made from apples are very popular in Ireland. This lovely apple cake, developed by Margaret Johnson, is a case in point. In Ireland this dessert would be made with Bramley apples, but any tart baking apple can be substituted. I do have to warn you that this dessert is more like a pudding than cake and it should be served warm, fresh from the oven. I don't think it ages at all well. That being said, this is a fast, easy and inexpensive family treat that is especially appealing to children. Not everyone enjoys apple pudding, but those of you who try this will not be disappointed. Here's the recipe.
Kerry Apple Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Margaret Johnson
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
4 Granny Smith apples cored, peeled, and diced (2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease an 8-inch square cake pan.
2) In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg, apples, nuts, and vanilla and stir well. Sift in dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands. This is a very stiff batter.
3) Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until cake is lightly browned and a skewer inserted into its center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then unmold and serve hot or cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I was not able to unmold my cake, so I sliced and served it from the pan. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
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