Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Nonna's Rustic Apple Cake

Family history can be a strange and interesting thing.
Through circumstance, I ended up with two sets of great grandparents on my Dad's side of the family. 
One set was decidedly English, immigrants to South Africa, who were very prim and proper.
Another set was decidedly Italian, with all the "Ciao, Bella!" and cheek pinching that came along with their infrequent visits from the homeland.

Today's recipe comes courtesy of my late Nonna, who never failed to ply me with exotic dark chocolate mignonettes wrapped in brown paper as a child, thus igniting a lifelong love for all foods deep, dark and chocolatey!

The original recipe (presented below) is easily made hypo-allergenic:
  • Gluten-free: Replace the all-purpose flour with rice flour, or a non-bitter gluten-free flour mix. Also make sure the baking powder you use is gluten-free, or just replace it with 2.5ml of bicarbonate of soda (tested).
  • Egg-free: Replace the 3 eggs with 1 extra-large (or 1.5 medium-large) bananas, mashed (tested).
  • Casein-free: Replace the 100g butter with 100g of solidified coconut oil (untested).
  • 500 grams (1 lb.) sweet apples, chopped into small blocks and peeled
  • 200 grams (7 oz.) flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
  • 100g (3.5 oz.) butter (room temp.)
  • 100g (3.5 oz.) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  1. Peel (optional) and chop the apples. Toss them in the lemon juice.
  2. In a seperate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Next, beat in the eggs.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon (entirely optional), and mix through.
  5. Stir through the apples.
  6. Put the mixture into a greased ceramic baking dish, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit) for approximately 30 minutes, or until slightly golden and a cake skewer comes out clean (which is more difficult to tell if you're using mashed bananas rather than eggs, as the cake tends to remain slightly gooey with this variation).
  7. Recommendation: Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream, or whipped cream with a dash of sugar and vanilla in. It's also lovely served with evaporated milk.
Grazie mille, Nonna! Ci manchi moltissimo!


Mamoru said...

I love cakes..!! Gotta try this one.. :)

Linda Harding said...

There are really few things as good as warm baked apple with cinnamon...especially if it's baked into a cake! This is a wonderful memory and looks delicious!

flowers on my table said...

Juanita, thankyou for following me. I have popped in to take a look at you and have very much enjoyed browsing through your posts. I love what you did with the corner of your garden and your apricot roses are gorgeous. The apple cake and brownies look particularly good, what with me having a sweet tooth and all! Have a great week. I am now following you, love Linda x

BigAppleNosh said...

This sounds so delicious!

PS Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Dajana said...

I love this kind of rustic looking and tasting cakes, and when the recipe's mixed with darling memories, then you must cherish it dearly indeed

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

eating it warm & with melting ice cream!
YUM Juanita!!

A Bowl Of Mush said...

Mmm I can just about smell this! Looks rustic, extremely homely and delicious!

flowers on my table said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving a lovely comment on my cake, much appreciated! Have a great week, Linda x

Dreams of cakes said...

This is the second dessert with apples that I read today. You will make me bake an apple pie :-) Thanks for sharing! Your recipe looks very tasty!

Joyti said...

Two sets of grandparents - what fun! Double the spoiling?
The rustic cake sounds delicious...

Lavinia said...

The cinnamon should not be optional :O

Joke aside, this cake recipe sounds delicious. I love apple sweets and you also have very good ideas for people with allergies.

flowers on my table said...

Thanks for visiting Juanita, yes I agree with you about the bag and I also prefer the plainer back of it. I like it just hanging on my chair but I also used it to do some shopping yesterday. Have a lovely day, love Linda x

Aleksandra Rybinska said...

apples are one of my favourite fruits. I can wait to try your recipe. It's something new for me. Looks truly delicious!
Please check my recipes: http://alexandras-recipes.blogspot.com/ I would be appreciate if you could follow back.

Angie's Recipes said...

The apple cake looks so lovely! Perfect for a cup of tea!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Oh, this looks yummy! I can't resist an apple dessert :)