I discovered this dish one year when looking for an easy coffee cake. All I had in hand was a few apples, an egg and some flour. I loved the simplicity of the recipe, and the “magic trick”. I’ve modified it a bit to suit my style, and it has been a hit ever since.
The trick is to let the apples (pears work well, too…), sit for an hour or preferably longer, soaked in a marinade of sugar and spices. For sugar you can use brown sugar, honey, or my favorite, which is Silan, a date honey. The marinade does two things. First, it allows the flavor to soak into the fruit, intensifying the natural flavors. Second, and here’s the magic, the apples will release their own liquid and sweetness, and will add to the marinade. This allows you to use less sugar, almost no oil at all, and only one egg for the batch. I love experimenting with different fruits (hard fruits, such as apples and pears work best, but I’ve added in addition to these plums, peaches or anything I have on hand), dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, dried organic apricots, and different nuts such as almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or anything else you have on hand.
3 c peeled, cored and diced apples
1 c sugar/silan/honey
1tsp spice mixture
1/4 c cold butter, cubed
1c Whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
1/2 c nuts (brazil, walnuts, almonds, etc..)
1/2 c dried cranberries
I throw my favorite spices into my heavy stone mortar and pestle, and grind to a fine powder. The spices that I normally use are: cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fresh ginger and nutmeg.
Place fruit in baking dish, sprinkle sugar and spice, and let sit till bottom of dish is covered with syrup. Stir occasionally.
Mix egg and butter into apple mixture.
In separate bowl mix dry ingredients and mix this into apple mixture slowly, mixing well with wooden spoon, till all flour is wet. Mix in nuts and cranberries.
Bake at 200 c for 30 minutes, or until top is golden. Don’th over bake, this cake is supposed to be quite moist!