8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
Juice of 2 lemons
2/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
1/4 cup Irish cider
This three-part dessert starts with roasted apples and ends with a luscious nutty topping. In between is a chunky, old-fashioned apple-butter cake, one of the most popular cakes in Irish cookery. Serve it with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or clotted cream.
1. To make the roasted apples, preheat the oven to 375ºF/190º C. Butter a large
baking dish. Cut the apple quarters into 2 to 3 wedges each and place in the
prepared dish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and sugar, and dot with the butter.
2. Bake, turning frequently, for 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are tender
when pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven, drain the juices,
and set the apples aside to cool. Maintain the oven temperature.
3. To make the cake, butter a 9- or 10-in. springform pan and sprinkle the
bottom with the almonds. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon,
baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until
light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until the
mixture is smooth. With a wooden spoon, fold in the dry ingredients, vanilla,
sour cream or crème fraîche, and the cider.
5. Starting in the center, decoratively arrange half of the apples in the bottom
of the pan. Roughly chop the remaining apples and stir into the cake batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 70-80 minutes, or until a skewer
inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let
cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Release the sides of the pan, invert the
cake onto a plate, and remove the base.
6. To serve, cut the cake into slices and serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice
cream, or clotted cream.