G IS FOR GRETA

This recipe was given to me by my lovely German neighbour, Greta.  She was famous round here for her kindness and generosity, and for being a great cook!  This is her recipe for a large apple cake, which she made for countless church do’s and Apple Days.

GRETA’S LARGE APPLE CAKE FOR MANY GUESTS

Serves 15 

Ingredients for the base

  • Plain flour 375g
  • Cinnamon 2 tsp
  • Salt a pinch
  • Butter or margarine 200g
  • Icing sugar 200g
  • Eggs 2

Ingredients for the topping

  • Apples 2 kg (use eating apples: you want them to keep their shape as they cook)
  • Lemon 1
  • Butter 2 – 3 TB
  • Apricot jam 3TB
  • Lemon additional 1/2

To make

  1. Grease a large baking sheet ( mine is 40 x 28.5cm)
  2. Sieve the flour, cinnamon and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter and rub it in, as though you were going to make pastry.  Add the icing sugar and mix in slowly, so you don’t get engulfed in a cloud of icing sugar!
  3. In a small jug, beat the eggs lightly, then pour them into the other ingredients.  Mix together until you have soft dough.  Chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the oven 200C, 400F, Gas Mark 6.
  5. Squeeze the juice of the first lemon into a large bowl, ready for the apples.  This will stop them from going brown.
  6. Peel and core the apples.  Cut into quarters, and then again, so you have 8 chunky segments of apple.  Put in the bowl with the lemon juice and stir to make sure they are covered with the juice.
  7. Remove the pastry from the fridge, and press it onto the base of the baking sheet, moulding it right into the rims.
  8. Prick the base all over with a fork.
  9. Arrange the apples on the base, overlapping like the scales of a fish.
Arrange the apples like the scales of a fish
Arrange the apples like the scales of a fish
  1. Melt the butter and brush over the apples.
  2. Put them into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 and continue cooking for another 15 – 20 minutes (total baking time: 30 – 40 minutes).
  3. Gently heat the jam with the lemon juice.  Remove the cake from the oven, and brush with the jam.
  4. Allow to cool, then cut it into pieces (as large or small as you like) and enjoy.
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