Thursday, March 13, 2014

Apple and Oatmeal Cake for St. Patricks Day

Growing up in a French/Italian family, St. Patrick's day was never really celebrated as a big feast day for us, however my Mom did put together a pretty decent boiled dinner for the occasion.  While raising my own family, that corned beef and cabbage tradition continued.  As I became more adept at cooking and trying new dishes, finding traditional meals to cook for my family from different parts of the world was really fun!  Our St. Patrick's day meal really needed an update, so for the past several years finding really good and interesting dishes such as this Apple and Oatmeal cake, was a very happy find indeed.  This is a very moist cake made with layers of cooked apples and oatmeal.  Very little sugar is used and a hint of lemon peel and cinnamon is added.  It's a pretty little cake, that I baked in a 6 inch X 3 inch pan, it gives this cake a nice height.  It can be served alone with a light dusting of powdered sugar on top or with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.  Either way, a fine cake deserving of a wonderful ending to a St. Patrick's day meal or any meal for that matter!

Recipe from Theodora Fitzgibbons "Irish Traditional Food"

1 lb. cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped coarsley
2 rounded tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 rounded tablespoon of raisins
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup or honey
10 oz. old fashioned oatmeal
finely grated peel of 1/2 a lemon
2 large eggs, beaten

powdered sugar, optional  

6 inch spring form pan or a 6X3 inch cake pan, lined bottom and sides with parchment paper and sprayed with pan spray.

preheat oven to 375° F.

1.  Combine apple chunks with the sugar and cinnamon and cook on medium heat until soft and all water is evaporated.  You may have to mash cooked apples with a fork depending on what kind of apples you use.  A dry slightly chunky puree is what you want.  Add the raisins to the cooked apples and allow to cool.

2.  Melt the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup or honey in a saucepan.  Remove from heat.

3.  Combine the oatmeal and lemon peel in a bowl.  Add the melted butter mixture and the beaten eggs, combine well with a spoon.  Divide this mixture up evenly in three separate bowls.

4.  Press 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Spoon 1/2 the apple mixture over the oatmeal layer and spread evenly.  Cover the next 1/3 of oatmeal over the apple layer and press evenly and repeat with the rest of the apple then oatmeal.  Pressing the final layer of oatmeal gently but evenly over the top.

5.  Bake in preheated 375° oven for 30 minutes or until a light golden color on top.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Flip cake out on a plate, remove parchment paper and place your serving plate over the top and carefully flip again.  Center cake on your plate and sift a little powdered sugar over the top if desired.  Enjoy!