Apples have been grown in Ireland for centuries–legend has it that St. Patrick planted an apple tree in an ancient settlement outside Armagh city. Today County Armagh is known as “Orchard County” and celebrates its apples with festivals and apple-blossom tours.
Irish Apple Cake, serves 8
2 large cooking apples, such as Granny Smith
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar (or same amount of granulated sugar processed in a food processor for 1 minute)
1-2 tablespoons milk
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Streusel Topping Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9- inch round springform pan with cooking spray.
To make the streusel topping, sift flour into a bowl and cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in sugar and reserve.
Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. To make the cake, sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Place the butter and superfine sugar in a separate bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, adding a little flour mixture with the last addition of egg. Gently fold in half of the remaining flour mixture, then fold in the rest with the milk.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. (Batter will be thick). Cover with the sliced apples and sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top. Bake for 1 hour or until browned and firm to the touch. Let cool in pan before removing the sides. Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Best served warm from the oven or reheated!
*Next time I would use 3 apples and add some nuts and a wee bit of cinnamon to the streusel topping :)