Apple & Lime Cake
Recently, I spotted a special in our local fruit & veg market: 1 kg limes for $3. Knowing how expensive limes can be, I immediately put them in the trolley without even thinking what on earth I could use them for. 2 weeks later, I start to think about using them up – it’s a lot of limes! Add that to the fact it’s apple season and there is an abundance of cheap, delicious apples of all varieties, including some fabulous heirlooms, I set to work looking through my recipe books.
I wasn’t too fussy. I was looking at lemon recipes, even the odd orange recipe (the citrus link was weak, but it was there all the same). My recipe books are precious: Stephanie Alexander’s “Kitchen Companion”, The Australian Women’s Weekly’s “Cook” and a cheapie, simply called “Baking” are my three favourites. The Kitchen Companion was how I learned to cook – if you want to throw some ingredients together, Stephanie tells you what goes with what. The Australian Women’s Weekly has the best test kitchen out there! Every recipe works easily – you simply can’t go wrong. And Baking has some wonderful recipes that don’t quite work, and is wonderful for honing your culinary skills, at least where biscuits, muffins and cakes are concerned.
To say I was disappointed at not finding any hint of putting Apple and Lime together is an understatement. In fact, looking up lime in the index only showed a smattering of recipes related to dressings, or Thai/Mexican food. There was nothing that was going to take up my hoard of limes!
Next stop: the Internet. We all know what a mixed bag that can be. For a start, anything past the third page of results is ignored. Secondly, all the recipe sites generate a “page” full of their own results, which is next to useless as well. I have had some pretty poor experience with internet recipes, and reading reviews puts me off most of the good-looking ones. In the past, I have taken a half-dozen Chilli Con Carne recipes and made my own from an amalgamation.
Imagine my further disappointment, when entering in the simple search “apple and lime cake”, there was only one real result. Let me say that again: ONE. This was bad. Well, okay, there were two, but the Morrocan Green Apple and Lime Cake wasn’t so much a cake as a flan – it looks like a flat pile of apple slices held together with their own juices, sugar and spices. Nice, I’m sure, but not what I was after. Maybe there were more, but I didn’t take any notice.
The other problem with my search results was that the one recipe was right up at the top of the results. You know, trusting the first few results is like believing the content of an advertisement. So, with great trepidation, I clicked on the only link that had any substance at all.
I was immediately greeted with a beautiful picture of the kind of cake I was after. Like most internet content, I had no idea who Silvana de Soissons was. I didn’t even bother with the rest of the site – I wanted a cake and here was a recipe! Since then, I have returned, especially after Silvana’s lovely tweet! She has an elegant site with some lovely photography. She has a beautifully rounded attitude towards food and living. I have yet to navigate over to The Foodie Bugle, an online magazine that Silvana writes for.
The cake itself turned out to be light and fluffy, despite the heavy, dense appearance. Perhaps the only change I might make is to add some cinnamon, however it’s not necessary and appeals to my taste-buds.
You can find the recipe here, but I have reproduced it in full (with a few tweaks for easy measuring). I didn’t have the particular apples that Silvana listed, but didn’t think that was too important. That said, they do need to be very ripe as they will cook easier and soften beautifully.
Apple & Lime Cake
1 x 24cm springform cake tin. Line the base with baking paper. Grease and flour the springform.
Oven at 180°C (170°C fan-forced).
- 450g very ripe apples, peeled, cored and sliced into very small pieces.
- The zest and juice from 3 limes
- 250g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
- 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups plain flour, sifted
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed and set aside. If you don’t have any, ½ Tspn vanilla essence.
- Icing sugar to dress
- Prepare apples and limes.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder, then add the lime zest. Set aside.
- Beat together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the beaten egg and mix until uniform
- Gradually add in alternating steps, the dry mix (flour, baking powder, zest) and the wet mix (lime-juice and the vanilla). Mix well.
- Fold in the finely chopped apple pieces.
- Pour the cake mix into the prepared cake tin, even the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 1 hour on a baking tray in case of spill-over.
- After half an hour, loosely cover with foil to prevent burning.
- Once removed from the oven, leave to cool completely.
- Put on plate and dress with icing sugar.