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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Irish Apple Cake

Food historian and cookbook author Theodora Fitzgibbon once said, "All Irish people have a very sweet tooth," and if you grew up in an Irish household you know this to be true. In the earliest times, the sweet was a simple concoction of fruit and honey: later cooks found that fruit and berries were equally delicious baked in pies, puddings, and cakes. Legendary Irish cook Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House, County Cork, says, "Homemade apple cakes are the most popular sweet in Ireland," and apples in general are the basis of many traditional and contemporary Irish desserts.

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and diced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8-inch square cake pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, apples, nuts, and vanilla and stir well. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then unmold and serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 10 to 12.
From a friend Sandy

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