Christmas Bramley Apple Cake Recipe

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With a history of apple cultivation stretching back beyond St. Patrick’s Ireland, Irish apples are a thing of legend. Apple pie, apple crumble, roast pork and applesauce, apples are synonymous with Irish cuisine that is both savory and sweet.

Bramley apples are a particularly distinctive type of apple in that they come into season in October and have a long shelf life in winter, making them the perfect baking apple as Christmas approaches. They are known in Ireland, for the most part, simply as a “cooking apple”.

This Christmas, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Authority) encourages people to indulge in this distinctive, locally grown apple in a range of delicious winter warming meals. Often referred to in Ireland as the ‘cooking apple’, the distinct tart taste of the Bramley apple and its unique chewy texture make it the ideal ingredient for many sweet and savory dishes.

Cooks find the large size to be convenient for preparation and their natural sharpness is of a great quality, balancing out the sweetness of the pastry and any added sugar, and the fruit acids help break down the apple during baking so that it “falls” to produce a unique soft mash.

A relatively modern apple dating back to the 19th century, it is widely cultivated but is most strongly associated with Armagh, “The Orchard County,” which has a history of apple cultivation dating back to St. Patrick and the early monasteries. In fact, Guillaume d’Orange was among many with historical references linking apples – and cider – to the region.

Without further ado, why not impress your loved ones this Christmas season with this simple Bramley apple recipe.

Bramley Apple Cake Recipe

Serve with crème fraîche or ice cream for a great Christmas dessert that the whole family will love.

Serves: 4-6 people

Alternates: If you don’t have Bramley apples on hand, Granny Smiths, Fuji, or Winesap will do the trick as well.

Ingredients

– 500g of Bramley apples (about 2 large apples)
– 225g of self-rising flour
– 1 C. baking powder
– 225g of powdered sugar
– 2 large eggs
– ½ tsp. almond extract
– 25g flaked almonds
– Icing sugar, powder
– Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 ° C (325 ° F) thermostat 3.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave and let cool. Lightly butter a 20 cm diameter cake tin.

Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, almond extract and melted butter in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth. Spread half into the prepared pan.

Peel and seed the apples, then slice them into thick slices. Layer them over the sponge cake mixture, stacking them in the center. Using two tablespoons, pour the remaining sponge cake mixture on top to completely cover the apples.

Spread over the almonds and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes until they are golden and a spike comes out clean in the middle. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with icing sugar.

Remove from pan and cut into slices. Serve hot on plates with ice.

* This recipe was provided by Bord Bia. For more Irish Food Council recipes visit www.bordbia.ie/recipes.


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