Thursday, November 02, 2006

Abundance of apples, and another apple cake

My mum has a big garden. The garden has several apple trees that seem to be especially 'fertile' this year. My maternal grandma has also a big garden, with yet more apple-laden trees. While doing my 'I've just moved back home' rounds, I've been sent away with bags and bags full of apples each time. Juicy, crisp, delicious, fresh, ripe, organic, home-grown apples...

So I've been baking apple cakes. To be more precise, I've baked four apple cakes since last Saturday alone. No more, no less..

In anticipation of visiting my parents on Sunday, I baked my Canadian apple cake last Saturday, using coconut milk instead of regular and adding some coconut flakes into the crumbly crust. It was a pretty large cake and smelled divinely. However, K. had invited three friends (a couple and their 5-year old daughter) over that night to help us eat some little bites of delight, preceded by some delicious coq-au-vin he had prepared. In a moment of madness, obviously, I asked our guests if they'd like to try some apple cake. A short while later, there were just three meagre pieces left, barely enough to go alongside our breakfast coffee on Sunday. We had to take a shop-bought cake along to my parents that night:)

[I took a break from baking apple cakes on Sunday. Instead I baked a zillion tiny wild mushroom pierogis to take along to a birthday party on Monday night. I'll blog about these soon.]

On Monday I baked my simple apple cake, which was gone by Tuesday lunch time. Couple of slices were eaten by my dad's cousin who's helping to redecorate our house, and another slice went to another cousin of my dad, who popped by to give me a lift to city centre.

On Tuesday evening, I tried my luck with tarte tatin, rather successfully, may I add. The recipe can be improved upon, but it certainly looked and tasted the part. I'm ashamed to admit that K. and I ate this on our own - half for dinner on Tuesday, half for breakfast on Wednesday.

And on Wednesday I tried another new apple cake recipe, using curd cheese and grated apples. Again, my dad's cousin helped us with a couple of slices last night, we had a few slices for breakfast today (one for me, three for K, who enjoyed his with home-made cloudberry jam), and there should be plenty left for after-dinner treat tonight. Here's the recipe. The cake is different because it uses grated apples, which give a very moist and light texture to the cake. I liked it sprinkled with icing sugar, but please feel free to serve it with a dollop of cloudberry jam instead;)

Curd cheese cake with grated apples
Yields 10
Source: Õunaraamat (100 rooga)

500 grams curd cheese or ricotta
200 grams sour cream or creme fraiche
15o ml semolina
100 ml caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon
4 medium eggs, separated
4-5 tart apples, quartered, cored & coarsely grated (unless shop-bought, then no need to peel)

Mix the dry ingredients (semolina, baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar and cinnamon).
Mix curd cheese and sour cream (or ricotta and creme fraiche), fold in the dry ingredients.
Add egg yolks and grated apples.
Finally, gently fold in egg whites that you've whipped until soft peaks form.
Pour the batter into a greased spring form (mine was 26 cm in diametre).
Bake in the middle of the oven at 200˚C for 40-50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top.
Let it cool slightly before serving.

Now. It's only Thursday today. I wonder how many more apple cakes can (should?) I bake before the week is up?

UPDATE 21.11.2006:
SpitoonExtra's Andrew made this cake and seemed to like it, if you believe his Food Diary. He had "2 Bloody large slices" on Sunday apparently:)

UPDATE 1.12.2006:
Milwaukee-based Yulinka made this cake for her Thanksgiving table.


Anonymous said...

Pille, you can never get enough of apple cakes!!! :-) The curd cheesecake sounds divine and I’m curious about the wild mushroom pierogis!

Bonnie said...

I might just have to go and get some bramleys just to try this out... it sounds superb... I'm with K and the cloudberry jam, I think I have some left...

Anonymous said...

kull on kena naha koik neid maitsvad eesti retsepti! see on minu uus lemmik soogi blog. koige parimat ja head isu!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Cheese cakes are great. This is fresh idea on that theme.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog thanks to a search about Estonian food... As a newcomer to Estonia, you've given me some inspiring ideas of how to use new ingredients (and the abundance of apples!). Thanks.

Pene said...

So, Pille, how many apple cakes did you make this week?

Anonymous said...

Pille, Wow! So many apple cakes!

This particular one on the photo looks divine! I have some granny smith apples that i was going to play with today but sadly got too busy to do. I'll be getting the rest of the ingredients tomorrow for this cake :)

I hope i can find semolina!

Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

KüpsetaSIN JA VäGA MAITSEV KOOK TULI, pealegi polnud vaja rasvainet panna, mis teeb retsepti minu jaoks veelgi soodsamaks:)
Suur äitah soovitamast!

Andrew said...

Confusion - why have you listed semolina and caster sugar in ml (which in my mind is for liquids) when they are dry ingredients? Should I just use 150/100 grams?

I have all the ingredients ready to make - right this minute in fact!

Pille said...

Dagmar - I agree, though there can only be couple of favourites - one for each mood:) I'll write about mushroom pierogis soon!

Bonnie - cloudberry jam is excellent, though this apple cake was delicious without any, too:)

Kanada Maarika - rõõm kuulda!

Scott - indeed. I've also written about lemon curd cheese cake, which I love.

Dzen, welcome! Hope you're enjoying your year in Tartu, and please feel free to ask for advice about Estonian food.

Pene - just those four, then I took a break;) My mum baked us one more, and I made my chocolate and cherry cake yesterday, so overall it was lots of cakes..

Mae - thank you! Did you find semolina? I guess you could use fine polenta instead?

Anonüümne - tore, et maitses! Ja tõepoolest, kook on üsna tervislik ja väherasvane.

Andrew - you can also measure dry ingredients by volume. It may be less precise, but for this type of baking it doesn't really matter. Use level measurements. BUT - do not just use grams instead of millilitres, as this conversion only works for water and juice and other such stuff! If you do want to use your kitchen scales, then 150 millilitres of semoline is just over 100 grams and 100 millilitres of caster sugar is about 85 grams. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I added grated peel from one lemon and it combined beautifully with the apple and cinnamon.

Am not sure if I did the recipe correctly or not--the cake was so light textured that it was nearly a souffle. THe flavor was fantastic.