Finding a really good Apple cake has become something of a preoccupation over the last few years. I find the older I get the less I like icing, or indeed anything very sweet, and the more appealing cakes which feature nuts or fruit are, especially apples with their hint of tartness. This one from Classic German Baking is the best one I've found yet.
It has a good combination of sponge to apple (lots of apple, but enough sponge to balance it) a very nice texture, doesn't call for anything I'm not likely to have to hand (or relatively expensive, like ground almonds), doesn't have almost a kilo of sugar in it (I have a recipe that does, it's a good cake, but bloody hell - that's a lot of sugar), is quick to throw together, and is absolutely delicious. A total winner in fact.
Luisa tells us that in Germany cakes like this are often called Mittwochskuchen - Wednesday cake - because they're so easy to throw together when time is short but cake is wanted. I love the idea of mid week cake.
This one wants a 9 inch springform tin lined with baking parchment, the oven set to 180 degrees C (a bit less in a fan oven) and 3 apples (or there abouts) peeled cored and cut into quarters. The quarters then want to be cut, not quite all the way through, lengthways - they will fan out a bit as they cook. (I used Bramley's because I had them, and I like their flavour, but they do go very mushy - something that stays a little firmer might be better).
Apples set aside, grate half a lemon rind into a bowl, add 130g of soft butter, and 125g of sugar, then beat together until light and fluffy. Add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3 eggs, 1 at a time. Finally add 190g of self raising flour, (or plain with 2 teaspoons of added baking powder), 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt, and the juice from the half a lemon. Beat together until combined. Stick in the baking tin, press the Apple quarters into the mix (core side down), sprinkle with a tablespoon of Demerara sugar, and bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean.
There are so many things I want to make in 'Classic German Baking', if they all turn out as well as this Apple cake (I'm sorry about Apple with a capital A, I can't cure the iPad of it so am embracing it instead) I'll be very happy indeed.