As 2012 was winding down, it suddenly had a last burst of energy and produced a bumper crop of apples. My cousins have apple trees in their gardens, and it seemed a terrible waste not to harvest at least some of them. Consequently, I found myself with several plastic carrier bags full of the kind of apples you rarely see in supermarkets: all delicious, but some misshapen, some a bit bruised, others that were clearly windfalls. Nobody knows any more what variety they are, as the trees were planted long ago, but they are sour fruit, full of flavour, and they fluff up like snow when cooked.
The more bruised and battered victims needed instant attention, so were rapidly stewed and frozen as I didn’t have time or energy to stop and mess about doing anything fancy with them. The others lasted a little longer but we had apple pies, and whenever pork was on the menu there was always a recipe that included apples and cider to be tried out.
About four weeks ago, I decided to “do something” with the last half dozen that were beginning to look a little wrinkly. I found an easy recipe and got all the ingredients together just to make sure I had everything, and then remembered that we had not only a rich Christmas fruit cake in the pantry, but lots of mince pies, little apple pies, Christmas puddings, biscuits and chocolates and all the other dainties and delicacies that Yuletide was dropping in our laps. So I gathered all the ingredients together and left them in the bowl, ready to be measured out as soon as the supply of sweets and desserts began to run low.
That time has now come, and I have finally made my “One Bowl Apple Cake”.
Although it’s an American recipe, there’s no need to convert cups into imperial or metric measure. I just took an old teacup and used that. The most time-consuming task here is peeling and slicing the apples, but that gives the eggs time to become “chambré”, to misuse a term. Eggs behave better at room temperature, however you are using them.
Since my childhood, I have always amused myself by trying to remove the peel from each apple in one long strip. We used to throw the strip of peel over our shoulders to see it land in the form of the initials of the one you were going to marry. Strangely enough, mine usually broke as I lobbed it and always landed in what looked like PS and indeed, those were the initials of the man I married. Though I suppose they are fairly common initials!
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup oil
- 6 medium Gala or Fuji or Honey Crisp apples
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and oil. Peel and slice the apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating as you go to keep apples from turning brown.) Mix together the baking soda and flour and add to the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well (best with a fork) until all of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased one 9×13 or two 9″ round pans. Bake for approximately 55 minutes (350°F/180°C/Gas mark 5).