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.

One Year Ago Today: Wicked Good Pecan Rolls

Two Years Ago Today: Salt and Pepper Pork Chops





Amalia said...

I have Granny Smith apples just waiting to be used :) This looks delicious, and who knew the Irish took their apples so seriously? Great history behind a lovely recipe! I would love to have some of this, with some vanilla ice cream, mm, mm good! Have a wonderful day!

Ginny said...

This is a beautiful presentation photo. I often think the food can't look as good in person as you make it look here! I had not heard this legend about Saint Patrick. In fact, I knew nothing about the Irish and their apples. When I think of Ireland, what comes to mind is potatoes and cabbage.

Hovkonditorn said...

Warm apple cake with vanilla ice cream, yummy! Have a great day!

Elin said...

Mary...this apple cake looks to do list is getting longer now :) I would love this with my favorite bailey ice cream..yum ! Thanks for sharing the recipe! And not to forget the great history behind this recipe :)

Nash Nordin said...

Apple cake! That look really delicious with vanilla ice cream :)
Have a nice day~

My Little Space said...

What an interesting story of the apple tree in Ireland. I must ask my cousin (live in Ireland) whether she knows anything about the story.
Hope you're having a great day, Mary.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love anything with apples in it and your photo makes my mouth water, yum yum. Keep well Diane

Vicki Bensinger said...

This apple cake has all the right spices. It sounds and looks delicious.

Epicurea said...

apple trees are absolutely, stunningly beautiful. great civilization to protect them (and make it possible to have more delicious apple cake)!

Rambling Tart said...

Before she got dementia, my grandmother made the most wonderful apple cake from her homeland of Denmark. Your recipe brought back such good memories for me today. :-) Thank you. :-)

Martha said...

I'm having a St. Patrick's Day luncheon on the 16th for some friends -- not the trite corned beef and cabbage but rather potato soup and Irish Farmhouse cheddar pimento cheese (Ireland meets the South) and was looking for an apple cake -- THIS will be perfect! Thanks for another great recipe!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Five cows, huh? Well, I wouldn't want to be cutting down any of their apple trees! ;)

I think it could be desserts like these that were behind such a steep penalty. blessings ~ tanna

Kim said...

I really love this kind of super moist cakes, like puding! And I kind of like it with apples. Think I'm going to give this Kerry apple cake a try!

Jenn said...

I can only imagine how delicious this cake is... warm, with some caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream??? Yes, please, may I have another?

Clint said...

Not sure this is for moi but I truly do enjoy the histories and background you always provide. Hope you have a great day!

Susan Lindquist said...

Mary, you always do such a nice job of discussing recipe background! I'm so impressed with this week's series of Celtic foods!
I'm thinking of trying to halve this recipe for a small little dessert for my husband and I ... sounds like a nice warm something for teatime!

Sangeeta's Kitchen said...

Very very lovely, I must say!

kitchen flavours said...

This looks lovely! I just recently made an Irish Apple Cake and my kids love it, so I'm sure my family would love this as well! Thanks for sharing!

Pam said...

Mmmm. It looks wonderful Mary.

Valerie said...

An apple "pudding" cake sounds wonderful to me! :)

The Café Sucré Farine said...

I'm crazy about anything apple and this looks fantastic!

From the Kitchen said...

I'd love a piece of this cake/pudding right now! I have a sweet craving at the moment.

Loved hearing the history of the apple in Ireland. Five cows seems a bit steep but, obviously, those trees were revered!


Sofia.Lopez said...

Hello Mary,
I miss your kitchen...
This apple cake looks amazing...i loved it :) All the flavours and ingredients are perfect...
Have a really nice day :)

SuzyEats said...

yummy. looks great

Au and Target said...

Oh my, I love the way the Catholic church claims kudos for everything! Snakes and apples, huh? Excellent!

And this apple pie looks terrific.

Sarah @ Homestyle Cooking Around The World said...

This looks really good and our entire family would love this. I enjoy moist cakes/puddings. I pinned and saved this to try very soon!

Jules said...


This looks SO good, and I'm Irish, so I love Irish recipes. I broke my ankle (and dislocated it) on the 24th, so I'm not up and around, but I'm craving sweets. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not up and around? LOL But I am making this as soon as I'm more able.



PS: My brother-in-law who is from Dublin, hates cinnamon with sweet--he only likes it with savory (curries and the like), so I like to tease him about it. He hates celery, too, so I always tell him I'm going to make him an apple cinnamon pie with celery crust. He doesn't find it funny....HEH. I do. :-) Cheers!

PPS: Why is it so hard to leave comments on your blog? Or is it me?

Joanne said...

Well, wherever the apples came from, I'm glad they appeared because this cake sounds delicious!

Jeannie said...

I have some apples that no one seems to want to eat, so am thinking this would be a great recipe to try! Looks delicious and your plate is so gorgeous!

BeetleBuggy said...

Interesting story there, Mary! I love anything with apples in them and they're so versatile to use in baking and cooking :) Lovely recipe!

grasina: handmade & decoupage said...

I intend to check the recipe on Saturday! :)
and the story is very interesting- thanks for that! :) have a lovely weekend!!

Milena Andrade said...

Olá, vim conhecer um pouco o seu blog e logo dou de cara com essa delícia... adorei a receita, visitarei mais vezes!

Visite também a Cozinha Doce.

Becki's Whole Life said...

Very interesting...I don't usually connect apples with Irish tradition, but now I will. This cake sounds wonderful!

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