Apple And Potato “Cake”
Perfect for breakfast or brunch, a hearthside favorite brought up to date

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Apple And Potato “Cake”

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
4 tablespoons Butter 60g
1 cup (scant) All-purpose flour 120 g
1 tablespoon (rounded) Baking powder
1 pound Potatoes - unpeeled 450g
For the filling
2 large or 3 small Cooking apples
2-3 tablespoons Brown sugar To taste
0.125 teaspoon Ground cloves 1/8 tsp
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 tablespoons Butter

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Cuisine:
    • Serves 4
    • Easy

    Ingredients

    • For the filling

    Directions

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    This dish probably started being baked by Irish firesides in its present form about three hundred years ago. It’s perfect for those times when a home chef wants a quick and easy dessert that can with equal aplomb appear cool and demurely sliced on the tea trolley, or as the crown of a country-style supper, piping hot and drizzled with thick Irish cream.

    The potato would have been a relatively late addition to the equation. “Filled bannocks” of this kind were being made with merely flour-based doughs in the time of the ancient Celts, who valued the apple not only as a gift and symbol of the Gods, but as one of the relatively few fruits that grows reliably in the Irish climate. Calling it a cake goes back to the older meaning of the word, which covered any sort of baked dish that was cooked over the fire on a griddle or (later) in a frying pan or Dutch oven.

    Traditionally (and in its older edition that appeared at EuropeanCuisines.com) this recipe was assembled directly on a bakestone or in a frying pan, and then turned halfway through the cooking/baking process. This business was always difficult (even when it worked right) and caused enough trouble that most people wouldn’t make it twice.

    As a result we’ve revamped the recipe to make it easier to create by baking it in the oven, in a springform pan. Give it a try! Its delicate flavor makes it a favorite you won’t mind baking again and again.

     

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    Steps

    1
    Done

    Boil the potatoes in their jackets for about 20-25 minutes, or until tender. When ready, drain off the water and return the potatoes and the pot they were cooked in to low heat: allow them to steam dry for 5-10 minutes. Peel and mash while still hot. (You can also simply rice them if you prefer.) Allow to cool to at least lukewarm.

    2
    Done

    Peel and core the apples and slice thinly. Preheat the oven to 185C / 375F.

    3
    Done

    Rub the butter into the flour (or if using a food processor, pulse it in) until a fine cornmeal texture is achieved. Add the salt and baking powder and mix well (or pulse again until mixed). Add the freshly mashed potatoes and knead very gently for a few minutes, or process (by pulsing) for about two minutes or until the dough gathers into a ball, allowing to rest two or three times.

    4
    Done

    When the dough is ready, divide into two pieces. Cover your work space with two sheets of parchment / baking paper. On these, roll each piece of dough into a circle: one (for the bottom) about the size of your springform pan, and one about an inch and a half wider.

    5
    Done

    Grease the bottom of the springform pan and place it buttered side down on the first, smaller circle of dough. Use it as a template to cut out the first piece of potato dough. Once cut, remove the trimmings, shake any flour off the parchment paper, and use the paper to brace the circle of dough against the springform bottom. Flip the springform bottom right side up, remove the paper, and pat the dough gently into place inside the edges of the springform bottom. Then lock the springform ring onto it.

    Place one of the dough circles in the frying pan and arrange the apples on it in flat layers, avoiding the outermost inch of the circle. Cover with the other circle of dough and pinch the edges together.

    6
    Done

    Begin layering the sliced apples onto the bottom crust, keeping them at least an inch away from the sides of the springform. Every couple of layers, sprinkle them with the mixture of sugar(s) and spices. When the last layer is completed, sprinkle with any remaining sugar / spice mixture and dot with about two teaspoons of butter.

    7
    Done

    Cut the second crust out and remove the trimmings. Use the parchment paper, or a rolling pin if your dough is strong enough (it should be *just* strong enough) to move the top crust into the springform pan and place it over the apples. Once in place, pat it gently down at the edges to seal the top and bottom crust together. If you like to gently press it all around with a fork to make a nice pattern (and you can get a fork in there), feel free. You may also like to use a cookie cutter to turn some of the rolled out dough trimmings into decorations.

    8
    Done

    Once the cake is ready, put it on a centered rack in your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check it at about the 15-minute point to make sure it's not browning too fast: if it is, reduce the oven temperature to 160C / 325F.

    Please note that it's normal for there to be an escape of bubbling brown sugar and apple juices around the edges while baking.

    When ready, remove and allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

    9
    Done

    Serve the apple and potato cake while still warm, right out of the springform pan, with a thick cream poured over (sour cream works well too). Some people like it better cooled down, with a pouring custard on top.

    The puffed up potato crust will collapse somewhat as the cake cools down, and the next day it will have gone quite flat... but the cake will still be delicious. (It also reheats well, even in the microwave if you feel like it.)

    IrishDessertLady

    I write for a living. But food is one of my favorite hobbies... learning about it, cooking it, eating it!

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