Dorset Apple Cake

I do hope the apple harvest will still be as bountiful after November 4th. Our family is trying to abstain from sweets for the election. In the meantime, I’ve got a few apple cake recipes that have to wait. I have a Favorite Apple Cake and my mouth is watering reading Kathryn’s plans to bake Dorset Apple Cake.

Her version is British measurement and ingredients. I have difficulty “translating” British recipes, as everything that gives the substitutes contradicts each other.

Thankfully, I found an American version from one of my old cookbooks, From An English Oven: Cakes, Buns and Breads of County Tradition by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, and thought I would share it here:

Dorset Apple Cake

One of the most famous of all English tea cakes is Dorset apple cake (also called pudding), which comes from the county where simple domestic cooking is thought to have been practiced longer than in any other part of the country. The older object found at Maiden Castle, during archaeological excavations, was a primitive oven. This discovery connect the ancient art of cooking with England’s earliest civilization.

Dorset apple cake must be eaten fresh and hot from the oven. Serve it with plenty of sugar and butter, with whipped cream, or foamy egg sauce. Make the cake in a large square, greased tin, and seve in generous squares for tea. This is how to make the famous delicacy:

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 pound cooking apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Milk to mix

Sigt together the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is the consistency of coarse meal. Peel, core and chop the apples, mixing them with the sugar. Stir the apples and sugar into the first mixutre (adding a little cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired). Add the egg, which has been well beaten, and enough milk to make a fairly stiff batter.

Bake 3/4 to 1 hour in moderate oven (350 degrees F.).

Some other versions from British food blogs are from Baking for Britain and WaitRose. The latter has a sugar topping which always sounds nice to add.

I’m not sure exactly how to “dredge” the cake in sugar after it’s done baking. Roll it in the sugar? Or just cover the top really well? I’ve only dredged before frying. Must mean something else in British cooking, as I came across the term in several places.

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