There’s a definite sense of comforting nostalgia associated with delving deep into my bottom kitchen drawer to retrieve a long forgotten favourite recipe. A trip down memory lane, resurrecting recipes for good old fashioned treats. The sort our nannas might have made. An Aladdin’s cave filled with the carefully guarded secrets, perhaps scrawled on yellowing, crumpled scraps of paper in thin spidery script, or ripped from the pages of newspapers and magazines. Earmarked as keepers and haphazardly tossed into my drawer in the hope they might be rediscovered sometime in the not too distant future, on a less time pressured day.
It’s that time of year again. Cold, dreary and wet. As if on autopilot, I’m inexplicably drawn back to that bottom drawer. Afternoon tea is definitely on the agenda, a yearning for something sweet, simple and old-fashioned on my radar. Regular readers of this blog will remember the unearthed treasures of my previous like minded forays. Previous offerings have included, a simple slice of old fashioned buttercake, classic lemon sponge squares, magic vanilla custard squares, a Kiwi favourite Louise slice, the curiously named Chinese chews and melt and mix chocolate coconut slice, to name but a few. All simple recipes combining staple pantry items that are available in almost any kitchen pantry to produce something understated but special.
Today’s recipe for an old fashioned apple and cinnamon tea cake is no exception. Reliable and dependable, she pulls herself together in mere moments. With a minimum of fuss and advance planning. Just beat together the most basic of pantry ingredients – butter, sugar, eggs, flour, milk and vanilla. Top with a couple of thinly sliced apples (cored but no need to peel) in a pretty spiral arrangement. Bake in a hot oven for thirty minutes and cool a little before brushing with a little melted butter and dusting in a shower of cinnamon sugar. Your reward? A light and buttery almost flan like cake topped with melting leaves of cinnamon scented apples. Irresistibly delicious and so beautiful to behold, I still can’t quite believe this is a product of my kitchen. Proof positive that simplicity is always best.
Old-Fashioned Apple And Cinnamon Tea Cake
Apple Tea Cake
65g butter, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1/3 cup milk
2 small granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
20g butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1tablespoon caster sugar
PREHEAT oven to 160 C fan-forced. Grease a deep, 20cm round, removable base (springform) cake tin. Line base with baking paper.
USING an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together for approximately 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
USING a wooden spoon, gently stir in sifted flour and milk. Spoon mixture into prepared cake tin. Arrange apple slices on top.
BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in tin for 5 minutes, before removing to a cooling rack.
COMBINE cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Brush hot cake with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Serve warm. Best eaten on the day it is baked.