Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Apple Cake

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope that you remembered to wear your green.

In the spirit of the day, here is a recipe for Irish apple cake. It has become one of our favorites and is adapted from a cookbook titled Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen. It is one that we received from Wayne's grandmother who was very proud of her Boston Irish heritage. According to this cookbook, apple cakes are a traditional dessert in Ireland, and each recipe tends to vary from house to house. Here is one from our house to yours:

Irish Apple Cake
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine (I use 1 stick butter & 1 stick margarine)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 to 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (Other cooking apples may be substituted. For a list of other varieties of cooking apples, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking_apple)
Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter to blend in the butter/margarine until it is the consistency of coarse bread crumbs. Stir in 1 cup of sugar and form a "well" in the center of the mixture. Stir in the beaten eggs and enough milk to make a soft dough. "Note that the dough will be somewhat sticky much like scone dough. Place 1/2 of the dough in the bottom of a greased 9X13 baking pan.


Peel, core, and chop up the apples. As you can see from the picture, I use my apple chopper to remove the core and cut the apples into slices. I then peel the slices and cut them up into small pieces. Place the chopped apple pieces on top of the dough, and sprinkle the dough with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. 

Cover the apples with the remaining half of the dough. This can be a little challenging given that the dough is rather sticky. I tend to drop spoonfuls on top of the apples and try my best to spread it out and seal all of the pieces together. It's okay if you end up with a few "holes." Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. In case you might be wondering, Irish Apple Cake makes a great breakfast cake, too.

I will conclude this month's cooking entry with the words of the old Irish blessing …

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.