This was the first fall for me. Being from a tropical Indian climate, it was delight to watch the trees turn to golden hues here in Sweden. And just before that, the delight of watching Apple trees filled with Apples, in almost every house around! It was practically raining apples, of every kind.
Whenever I sow those beautiful apple trees, I felt like having a bite of those juicy apples plucked right from the tree. We did pluck a few from wild apple trees and they weren’t as tasty as I had expected. And unlike what I’ve heard about the US, we didn’t find apple farms around to go apple-plucking. I’d silently envy those trees, whenever I walked past one of those trees in someone’s compound!
And as if they heard me, one fine evening, one of our neighbors gave big bag full of apples! A few kilos of freshly plucked apples! I was delighted. Along with it, they had a note as well, with a description of the variety of apples and the taste of it! It was apparently a little sour and juicy of course, and more apt for baking. What a nice gesture - to write a note along with the goodies!!
Ok, with so many apples, I started searching for some good recipes - wasn’t sure if we’d actually like apple in baked goodies, I first tried out an Apple Streusel Cake from Joy of Baking but with quite a bit of modifications. And lo and behold, did we love it! Loved the taste, texture, aroma of cinnamon with apple, the crunchy streusel topping, and all of it! I was glad that we loved it - I could try more and more stuff with apples now!
Streusel is a crumb topping of butter, flour, and sugar that is baked on top of muffins, breads, pies, and cakes. Some recipes add spices and chopped nuts as well. Although the topping is of German origin, it is sometimes erroneously referred to as Danish or Swedish. [Source Wiki]
I made the cake eggless and butter-less with some modifications. Here’s the recipe…
Apple Streusel Cake
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
Makes: An 8” round cake
Adapted from: Joy of Baking
For Streusel Topping:
All Purpose Flour / Maida - 1/2 cup (65 grams)
Ground Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon
Unsalted butter - 3 tablespoons (40 grams) cold, cut into pieces
Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup (70 grams)
Hazelnuts (or walnuts or pecans) - 1/4 cup (20 grams) toasted and coarsely chopped - I used walnuts
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup (130 grams)
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
Oil - 1/4 cup (In place of butter)
White Sugar - 1/2 cup (100 grams)
Yogurt - 1/4 cup (In place of 1 large egg)
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 1/3 cup (80 ml)
Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin (1/8 inch) slices - 2 large or 3 medium sized - about 1 cup slices
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and ground cinnamon.
- Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in the brown sugar and chopped nuts. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl mix oil and the sugar well.
- Add the yogurt and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined.
- Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.
- Evenly arrange the apple slices on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.
- Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.
- Use slightly toasted nuts. To toast walnuts, place them in microwave for a few seconds and crush them into pieces
- Fresh juicy and crisp apples work the best. If sour, it also adds a nice tang to the cake.