Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce
Even though it's winter, it's actually fall weather here in Okinawa now. Mid 50s and 60s Fahrenheit that only really require a cozy sweater and closed toe shoes to be comfortable. This kind of season always make me think of apples and cinnamon. It just so happened that I had a heaping fruit drawer in the fridge full of apples when some friends invited us over for dinner. We were tasked with dessert, so I gladly assured them that I had it covered.
Now, the dessert needed to be one that wasn't too sweet but just topped off the meal nicely. I didn't want to just go through my regular apple recipes, so I actually did some serious perusing online to find this gem. It's an amazingly good cake that I've tweaked slightly from the original to suit my tastes. While the cake can be made in any pan, I actually used a bundt pan for my version. It worked very well and when sliced showed off the apples perfectly.
The cake itself is very moist and pairs nicely with the pourable custard for drizzling on top. If you've never made custard before, it's actually halfway to making ice cream. The silky smooth sauce that you get from the simmering process is so decadent that you don't even need to go that step further to churn it along into the frozen stuff. This Irish style custard does so nicely with the cake just as it is...No American ice cream accompaniment needed.
Irish Apple Cake and Custard Sauce:
Adapted from The Kitchen McCabe
For Apple Cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) room temperature butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 large Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup milk
FOR THE CUSTARD:
4 large eggs
6 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
FOR THE CAKE:
Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers or a pastry cutter until it looks like fine crumbs. Add the 3/4 cup sugar to the flour mixture.
Peel the apples and slice them into 1/4 inch wide sections. Then, cut each section into 3 pieces. Toss the apples into the flour mixture until completely coated.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Add to the apples and flour and mix in until just combined. Batter will be thick and dough-like. Transfer the dough into cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of a spatula or spoon.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted.
FOR THE CUSTARD SAUCE:
In a heat proof bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium low heat. When bubbles form around the edge of the milk, remove from heat.
Slowly whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Add in the remainder of the milk mixture to the eggs. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and stir over medium low heat until custard thickens, about 4 minutes. The custard will be done when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and it doesn't run when making a line through it with your finger.
Remove custard from heat. Mix in the vanilla and transfer to a bowl for serving. Serve warm over apple cake. Enjoy!