Saturday, September 4, 2010
At Last: Danish Æblekage
Æblekage, or Apple Cake, is a Danish specialty that I've wanted to make for a long time. Recently I stumbled upon a quick and easy recipe that looked delicious. I rounded up our little harvest of apples from a teeny tiny tree that we have in our front garden. Aside from what had fallen on the ground, I picked seven small apples, most of which had been invaded by worms. But still, even with the spots cut out, I had enough for my apple cake.
I find it odd that the Danes call this recipe Æblekage, because to me it's not a cake at all. It's a cross between a trifle and a crumble. But I suppose it's a matter of semantics, because the Danes refer to many desserts as "cake." What's more, the Danes have many versions of æblekage, but this layered one seems to be the most popular.
I absolutely love that the apple and whipped cream layers of this dessert contain no sugar and truly, why bother? The crunchy oat mix is sweet enough so that when your spoon is loaded with a bit of apple, oats, and whipped cream, you have the perfect mouth-pleasing dessert. Having said that, if you'd like an extra bit of sweetness, add a tablespoon of sugar to the apples during the cooking process, and/or a splash of maple syrup to the whipped cream during the beating stage.
Translated from the Danish women's magazine Alt for Damerne
3-4 apples (preferably a somewhat sour variety)
1 1/2c oats
a handful of roasted, chopped nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts
1c heavy whipping cream
1. Peel and core apples and chop in thin slices.
2. Place apples in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes. Do not boil. When apples are tender, remove from the heat and cool.
3. In another saucepan, combine the sugar and butter and melt over medium-low heat, stirring often. Add oatmeal and nuts and stir until the sugar and butter mix completely coats the oatmeal and nuts. Cook carefully until the mix is golden brown, stirring every couple of minutes. Watch this part closely because you don't want the mix to burn. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool.
4. In a smallish, clear glass dish, spoon in half of apple mix. Cover with half of oat mix. Repeat. For the size of dish that I used I had two layers of apples and two of the oatmeal mix, but if you use a smaller dish, you will obviously have more layers. The recipe does not make a lot, so steer clear of a large dish.
5. In a mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff. Spread on top of the cake, sprinkle with a little cinnamon, and serve.