Rachel Allen’s Irish Apple Cake

Irish Apple Cake
Irish Apple Cake (© Lis Parsons 2013)

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Irish Apple Cake

Irish Apple Cake
Irish Apple Cake (© Lis Parsons 2013)

(Makes 6 servings)

  • 8 ounces (225 g) plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) butter
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) sugar, plus 2 tbsp
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Approximately 3 1/2 ounces (100 mL) milk
  • 1 large cooking apple, about 11 ounces (300 g) in weight
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Softly whipped cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch pie dish. Mix flour with baking powder. Rub in butter with your fingertips until texture resembles breadcrumbs. Add sugar, beaten egg and enough milk to form soft dough. Pat out half of dough in greased pie dish (don’t worry — it is supposed to be very wet).

Peel, core, and chop apple 3/4-inch cubes. Arrange apples on dough and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon. Gently spoon out remaining dough on top of apples to cover them completely. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and cut a slit through middle of top dough. Bake for 40–50 minutes, until golden and crunchy on outside (apples should be soft on the inside). Serve with softly whipped cream.

Rachel’s Tip: If the butter is cold (just taken from the fridge), grate it into the flour and it will rub in within a couple of seconds.

Nutritional Information Per Serving

  • Calories: 351
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Sodium: 140 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 56 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 1/2 fruit, 2 fat

If you think this is good, you should try Rachel Allen’s Sticky Cumin and Apricot Roast Carrots and Parsnips.

Recipe from Rachel’s Irish Family Food, by Rachel Allen, published by HarperCollins (2013); Photography © 2013 by Lis Parsons.

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  1. I have made this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day and Palm Sunday for years, and I always receive complements on it. However, I steam 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of black raisins in just a bit of water until water is absorbed and the raisins are soft. I also add the 1 to 2 tablespoons of reserved white sugar and the cinnamon to the raisins before steaming. When the raisins have absorbed the water, I add the diced apples, stir gently, and set aside.

    I prepare the dough by dividing it into two balls. I next place a sheet of waxed paper over a 10-inch dinner plate and add a bit of flour to prevent sticking. Then I place the dough on the sheet, sprinkle dough with some flour, add another sheet of waxed paper, and press down with another dinner plate until the dough is of an even thickness across the bottom plate. Then I peel off the waxed paper. To place the dough into a baking dish, I invert and center a greased and floured 9-inch round metal cake pan over the dough and then invert again so that the plate is on top. I remove the plate and peel off the waxed paper, sometimes with the help of a knife. I let the dough slip inside the pan, letting edges come up the sides of the pan. I next add the apple-raisin mixture to the center of the dough and spread it out a bit. Then I press the remaining dough in the same way for a top crust. I peel off the top layer of waxed paper and then invert the dough (still on the waxed paper-covered plate) and place it over the filling so that it is centered. I remove the plate and peel off the waxed paper, again with the help of a knife if necessary. Then I fold the edges of the bottom crust over the edges of the top crust and seal the dough. I reserve maybe one tablespoon of the egg/milk mixture and brush this over the top crust and sprinkle with a bit of white sugar. I next cut vents in an “X” to marks the four servings. Then I bake the cake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or until toothpick test near center comes out clean and the crust is lightly golden around the edge.


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