10 hours in the oven and 10 hours resting definitely seems like an eternity but when the apple cake is baking all you have to do is relax and wait or maybe make some spiced crème anglaise to have with them. It’s definitely worth the wait!
- 6 granny smith apples
- 6 Fuji apples
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 40 g butter, melted
- 1 quantity spiced crème anglais
Spiced crème anglaise
- 300 ml cream
- 300 ml milk
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 4 free-range egg yolks
- ½ cup caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 10 hours
Spiced crème anglaise makes 2½ cups
Preheat oven to 110°C (175°F). Grease and line a 20 cm (8 inch) cake pan.
Working with 1 apple at a time, peel and core the apples. Using a mandolin slice the apple on the thinnest setting.
Fan the apple slices over the base of the pan. When the base is completely covered with apple lightly brush with the melted butter and sprinkle over a little of the sugar. Repeat with remaining apples (alternating the types of apples), butter and sugar until all is used.
Cover with baking paper and then foil, seal tightly. Using a small knife puncture the foil and baking paper about 20 times. Place a smaller cake pan on top of the foil and fill with baking weights or dried beans. Take care not to cover all of the holes you just have punctured.
Place on a tray and bake for 10 hours. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack, remove the pan with the pie weights and allow to cool to room temperature. Do not remove the baking paper and foil.
Once cool place the pan with the weights back onto the apples and rest in the refrigerator for a further 10 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, uncover and gently run a small paring knife around the edge of the tin. Turn the apples onto a serving platter and cut into wedges, serve with spiced crème anglaise.
To make the spiced crème anglaise, place the cream, milk and spices in a saucepan, bring to a slow boil over a medium heat, remove from the heat and allow the spices to infuse into the milk for a couple of minutes.
Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk approximately ½ of the spiced milk into the egg mixture. Return the egg and milk mixture to the remaining milk in the saucepan and whisk well.
Place over a low heat and stir the custard until it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil or it will curdle.
Once thickened cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and keep warm.
• These apples make a delicious tart or pie filling or simply can be served over vanilla ice-cream. You could also make in individual ramekins of the apple, cut back the cooking time to 2–3 hours.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.