We are right in the heart of apple season in Norway at the moment and everywhere there are delicious and crisp fresh apples for sale, often straight from the farm. Apples are so important to Norwegians that there is even a special day to celebrate them - 27 September. I could not let this pass without sharing a recipe with you that is very close to my heart and not to mention a closely guarded secret.
Even though I live in Norway, as you know I am not Norwegian, but English. I am from Dorset in the south-west of England. It's a county of contrasts with soft rolling green hills meeting the sea, lots of agricultural land and absolutely no snow! But it also sees some terrible winds and fierce storms, One of Dorset's most well-known recipes is Dorset apple cake. Everyone has their own version of the recipe often passed down from mother to daughter and with little tweaks that make it special to that family. My mum likes to keep her's a closely guarded secret, but always makes it for Andre whenever she can (it's his favourite apple cake).
I thought it would be fun and personal to celebrate Norwegian Epledagen (apple day) this year by sharing my precious recipe with you. I like the combination of my own English culture with Norwegian ingredients and cooked in my rustic Norwegian kitchen on a cold autumn day. And finally eaten by my Norwegian partner, Andre, and our dual nationality kids! A perfect harmony of the two cultures of our family.
I hope you like it as much as me.
Choose a nice crisp eating apple because we want to the apples to keep their shape and not disintegrate, and we will be using the classic English creaming method to make the cake.
So come on, let's fill our kitchens with the warm smells of baking and cinnamon. Autumn perfection!
Dorset Apple Cake
Serves 8 people
175g / 6 oz butter, at room temperature
125g / 4.5 oz white sugar
50g / 2 oz dark brown sugar (I use muscovado sugar)
170g / 6 oz plain, all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk
3 medium sized eating apples
2 teaspoons sugar for the top of the cake
Preheat the oven to 165C / 330F
Grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin
Peel and core the apples and cut one and a half into small chunks and the other one a half into thin slices. Put the sliced apple to one side for the top of the cake,
Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, and pale in colour.
Gradually add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and fold into the egg mixture with the apple pieces.
Stir in the milk.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and gently smooth the top.
Arrange the apple slices in a pretty pattern on the top of the cake. I like to overlap them around the edge.
Sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes until the cake is a golden brown and rebounds to a light touch. If you like you can insert a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it's cooked the skewer will come out clean.
Cool in the tin for about 15 minutes before running a blunt knife around the edge and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To be terribly English enjoy a slice of Dorset apple cake with a nice cup of tea, or for a bit of decadence with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
Vær så god!
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