apples, Cakes, Italian food, kitchen process

‘The’ Sicilian Apple Cake

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I’ve been blogging for 7 years, primarily about books and writing, but I always loved to slip in the occasional food post. I nicked this post on the Sicilian Apple Cake from my other website because it deserves to be here in this dedicated food environment.

I have to say that in all the traffic to my writer website over the years, nothing … absolutely nothing, has generated as much traffic as this recipe. I’ve no idea why, except maybe the world knows a good cake recipe when it sees one

The cake, full of apple and raisins, also has the distinctive Mediterranean combination of citrus, vanilla and cinnamon and is so good it should be cooked every day and offered up to the apple spirits.

I first ate it in Lucia’s Cafe at Adelaide’s Central Markets, discovered what it was called and scuttled home to research the recipe. I found it on the local South Australian ABC website and reproduce it here for your cooking and eating pleasure.

120 gms butter, melted
50 gms toasted walnuts, ground
1 kg granny smith apples
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
250 grams sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
150 gms plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
100 mls milk
120 gms raisins
100 gms pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 170c.

Using 20g of butter from the total quantity, generously grease a 24cm cake tin then sprinkle with the ground walnuts, set aside.
Peel and core the apples then cut them into slices. Toss the apples with the zest and juice of the lemon and set aside.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy then add the melted butter, flour, baking powder and milk, whisk till smooth and creamy.

Pour one third of the batter into the prepared cake tin then top with one third of apple, raisins and pine nuts. Repeat with remaining ingredients then finish with layer of apples then sprinkle the combined sugar and cinnamon over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or till the apple is cooked.

Don’t be too strict about the timing. It all hangs on the particular personality of your oven. Some are fast, others slow. Last time I cooked the cake I was in a rush and whipped it out of the oven exactly after an hour to find it undercooked. I served it up with a fairly runny centre but told everyone it was custard and they all said how unusual and how delicious!

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