While some are having the time of their life, I’ll always remember St. Patrick’s Day as the day I moved to Chicago. I was so excited as I began to approach the beautiful skyline of the city and then skuuuurt. Dead. Stop. Traffic. I didn’t realize it was St. Paddy’s Day weekend because I was too focused on moving up to Chicago, but dang did I get a rude awakening when I realized everyone was gathered down town drinking Guinness and taking in all of the local green river festivities. Now that I’ve been settled in for 9 years I make sure to enjoy everything St. Paddy’s Day, from the South Side parade to the amazing food that fills the weekend.
I usually make corned beef and cabbage or some kind of dark beer stew, but this year I decided to make a ridiculously delicious Apple Cake Recipe and then topped it off with a simple to make tasty vanilla custard. If you’ve ever made an apple cake or even an apple crisp, they’re incredibly easy to make. It’s as simple as making the batter and then tossing in the cut up apples followed by the wet ingredients until it almost resembled something similar to dough. From there you bake it and forget about it for an hour. While the cake is baking it’s perfect timing to make the custard. Yes it will most likely cool down a bit before the cake is done, however you can re-heat it over low heat on the stove top before serving if you prefer it be warm.
Once the cake is finished cooking you have to ensure that it cools to room temperature before serving. One of our favorite cooking utensils in our kitchen repertoire is our Franke Roller Mat. We use it for so many things, from drying the dishes to using it to a colander, to even using it as a cooling rack. Need-less-to-say we love it and can’t live without it. The reason you want to cool this cake to room temperature is because it will continue cooking once it comes out of the oven and will be totally finished once it’s done cooling. If you were to pull the cake out of the oven and slice right into the center, chances are it would be a bit doughy and fall apart. If you wanted to eat this cake piping hot and right out of the oven then I would suggest cooking it for another 20-30 minutes, but you’ll have to keep an eye on it as the top could brown a bit more than you were hoping. If this is the case than wrap the top in foil to keep a bit off the heat off of the top.
I’ve literally made custard over 1,000 times in my life. it usually comes in the form of the very French classic recipe, crème anglaise. I’ve burned it, I’ve scrambled the eggs, I’ve not cooked it long enough, you name it I’ve destroyed this recipe plenty of times, but because of all those kitchen failures I can now flawlessly make it. While there are a few nuances between crème anglaise and this vanilla custard sauce, the procedures are pretty much the same. The trick is to keep the heat incredibly low and your patience incredibly high. Most folks get antsy and try and cook it over medium heat and then they end up scrambling the eggs. If you keep it low and slow while continuing to whisk you’ll notice how nice and fluffy the custard will become. Again, patience is a virtue with this recipe, or any custard recipe for that matter.
I usually try to do some research when I do cultural recipes but I kept hitting the wall on this one as I could not find 1 single thing that could point me to the history of the Irish Apple Cake. I always like to know where certain things come from and am usually pleasantly surprise when I learn of traditional recipes origin. Often times dishes aren’t even originally from the country that you might have thought they were. In the end, I apologize because I came up with nothing on this one. In the end, this Irish apple cake recipe is a winner and so dang tasty that I seriously ate 2 slices right out of the gate, don’t tell my wife! Happy Cooking and Happy St Patrick’s Day!!
Irish Apple Cake Recipe with Vanilla Custard Sauce
For the Cake:
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar + 3 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 8 ounces of unsalted butter
- 2 each peeled cored and sliced granny smith and golden delicious apples
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 ½ cups of whole milk
For the Custard:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup of whole milk
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Cake: Cream together the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and butter until the butter is the size of rice. Fold in the apples.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and milk and then combine it into the flour-butter mixture until combined. It should resemble a thick dough.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9” greased spring form pan and bake in the oven at 375° for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown on top and firm in the center.
- Cool completely to room temperature before slicing and serving.
- Custard: Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the milk and sugar in a medium size pan over medium heat just until lightly boiling.
- Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl with the eggs while continually stirring and then pour the mixture back to the pan over low heat and stir until it becomes very thick, think alfredo sauce.
- Finish by whisking in the vanilla and then pour a small amount over a cooled slice of cake.