First published Canberra Times 11 August 2010. When I was young I learnt a lot from my Mum while standing on a chair in the kitchen watching her cook. Mum was a great cook and always encouraged my interest in food. Migrating from Holland with her family in the 1950’s, she arrived here to find a very different culture and appreciation of food. Like many other women back in the 1960’s, she dedicated a particular day of the week for baking cakes and biscuits for our family, and if we were lucky this stash would last out the week. Many of the neighbourhood kids would front up on weekends and after school to taste the treats she had cooked during the week and she was pretty popular for her contributions to the annual Coal Point primary school fete. It was a rare occasion when any store bought biscuits or cakes passed through our front door.
This apple cake evokes many memories and was a very popular choice whenever it appeared on the menu at Red Box. Who could resist the sweet smell of cooked apples and cinnamon in the shop? A great morning or afternoon tea cake or a delicious dessert, it can be served hot or cold with custard, cream, ice cream or yoghurt but my favourite is to serve it warm with whipped vanilla bean cream. I prefer to use fresh apples, such as Fuji or Braeburn as they hold their shape well and result in a tangy fresh flavour.
The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require an electric mixer, just a wooden spoon. This recipe makes a very generously proportioned cake, so for it to cook completely through without burning requires a large greased high sided ring cake pan lined with baking paper, on both the bottom and sides of the pan. I like to use a 27 centimetre non stick ring pan due to the cake’s proportions and cool the cake in the tin to ensure it is supported by the tin while still warm, otherwise it may topple over.