How to make Æblekage – traditional Danish apple cake

danish layered apple trifle cake aeblekage

Ta daaa! Today we have knocked up a quick Æblekage, or apple cake, a fabulous Danish pudding which is the best way I know for using up all those autumnal cooking apples. Layers of stewed apple are alternated with the happy crunch of spiced, buttery cinnamon crumbs and topped off with a cloud of whipped cream. Serve in either a large trifle dish or in individual serving glasses; I have to make a special one for my mum as  she loves it with a blob of jam or redcurrant jelly on top.

Before we crack on with , there are a couple of things you should know.

A). Yes, I know it doesn’t look like a cake, it’s more of a layered trifle but the longer you leave it the cakier it gets. Definitely one of those puddings that is more than a sum of its parts.

B). The amounts given in the recipe below are more of a suggestion than a definitive recommendation; my Danish grandmother cooked everything by eye, with a little shake of this and a dash of that, and I appear to have inherited the tradition, so keep tasting and add more sugar and spice as you fancy it.

C). The stewed apple shouldn’t be too sweet, so it provides a pleasing contrast to the brown sugary breadcrumbs.

D). I should have put a layer of the crumbs at the bottom of the glass, but as I was trying to prevent my son eating all the whipped cream I wasn’t concentrating fully; the more layers you can get in the better 🙂

E). In Denmark you can actually buy Æblekage rasp (breadcrumbs) ready to use, but I prefer the home-made version as you can adjust the amount of cinnamon. They will keep very well in an airtight jar for up to a week.

Serves 6-8

 

Ingredients

For the apple sauce

1kg cooking apples

3tbsp demerera sugar

1sp mixed spice

For the crumbs

10 slices of decent bread, made into breadcrumbs

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp demerera sugar

25g butter

For the topping

300ml whipping cream

 

Method

Peel and core the apples, and place in a large saucepan with enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle over the  the sugar and mixed spice. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the apples have broken down, stirring constantly and adding a little more water if necessary. Set aside to cool.

Whip the cream and put on a high shelf so your son can’t find it.

Next take your largest frying pan and set over a moderate heat. Add the butter, and when it has melted scatter over the sugar and cinammon; give it a quick stir, then tip in the breadcrumbs. The idea here is to crisp them up so they turn a lovely golden brown colour, but you need to keep moving them constantly so they don’t burn. Keep stirring for 5-10 minutes until they have change colour, then remove from the heat; at this point it is a good idea to eat a large spoonful of them while nobody is looking, and add more sugar and cinnamon if you fancy it sweeter.

To assemble the cake, you simply spoon a few mixture of the crumbs into the bottom of your serving dish, then alternate with layers of stewed apple, finishing with a layer of cream and a final decorative sprinkle of crumbs.

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