I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
The Song of Wandering Aengus by W.B Yeats
An apple a day,
sends the voters my way keeps the doctor away.
Okay, first up, I am NOT a doctor. Which is probably why you're here. Or maybe you're here to vote for my entry to Project Food Blog's second challenge? (I did a Botswanan dish, in case you're curious). Well, whatever the reason, here you are, and because you're patient enough to read this far down, I'm going to share with you a stupendously easy - but mighty pretty - recipe for German Apple Cake. I'd learnt how to make this when I was working and living in Germany. Oh yes, those pioneer baking days when my oven-watching skills were nought. ;-) I still bake this cake to remind me of how far I've come since then.
If you wish to master the art of turning Snow White's poisoned gift into something that any repressed pastry chef would be proud of, listen carefully - or perhaps that should be, read carefully. On that day when we were overwhelmed with extra apples in the house, and I mean extra extra... an apple-invasion, if you can imagine it - I went ahead and did something to claim my territory back. I baked four apple cakes in a row. And gave them away to grateful neighbours. There, that ought to teach them frisky apples a lesson! Ah well, really it was my fault for not reminding my housemates that we hadn't yet finished our three bushels of apples and to please, not fill the house with any more.
Apple Cake Version 2.0
While you're still with me, voting for Project Food Blog ends on Thursday (Sept 30) and if you can look past this shameless plug and vote for me to advance to the next round, then I will be only too happy to share this so-easy-it's-truly-embarrassing recipe with you. I guarantee this apple cake is not only stunning-looking, it's also stomach-warmingly delicious. Enough to send any jealous stepmother to the nuthouse and the seven dwarfs to the unemployment line. Enjoy!
German Apple Cake
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
pinch of salt
200g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 tablespoons milk
750g apples, peeled, cored and sliced
25g melted butter
40g sultanas/raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon water
1. Whisk sugar, butter, vanilla until light and fluffy, then mix in the lemon juice and salt.
2. Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed to incorporate eggs into the batter.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and bking powder and gradually add them and the milk to the batter above, mixing slowly until smooth. Use only as much milk as is necessary to give the mixture a slow-dropping consistency.
4. Pour into an 11-inch greased springform tin and level off surface with a spatula.
5. Quarter the peeled, cored apples (or cut them into 1/8ths if they are large). Make a few parallel cuts on the apples (skin-side) and arrange in a flower shape on top of the batter. (As you can probably see, I started doing the parallel cuts on two apple slices, then gave up. I had 4 cakes to do(!), and honestly, it didn't make any difference to the final taste of the cake). Press the apples into the batter very lightly. Arrange the sultanas in the same way.
6. Melt butter and brush the tops of the apples with it. Bake at 180C in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes.
7. For glazing, boil the jam with water and reduce heat, simmer until mixture becomes syrupy. Spread syrup onto the whole cake using a pastry brush as soon as it comes out of the oven. (Tip: The syrup seals the cake and minimizes the "pulling away" of the cake batter from the apples, which will leave unsightly gaps).