It's funny isn't it how the word tea cake can mean different things depending on where you are in the world. To me a tea cake is usually a cake made from flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and milk. It is usually sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar mixture, and can contain fruit. If you are from the UK a tea cake could mean a yeast-based sweet bread containing dried fruit, and in the Southern US it could mean a cookie (shortcake).
I came across this recipe whilst I was looking through the Coles(Australia) website. For those unfamiliar with it, Coles is a large supermarket chain in Australia. Now I know this may seem like a strange thing for me to be doing, but there was a method to my madness. I have someone special coming to visit me next week and they offered to bring some goodies from home. The things I miss has definitely grown smaller during the years I have lived away from Australia, but there are still a few things that I have never found a substitute for, or that I still miss. Whilst I was looking at various products I saw a link for Curtis Stone and found that he has teamed up with Coles to provide a range of recipes, including his Feed Your Family recipes to feed your family fast, in season and on a budget, as well a Video Cookbook, where you can cook-a-long with him.
This was a very quick recipe to put together. I had some Granny Smith apples that I needed to use up, but I think that pears would work very well also, and I had Grand Marnier on hand but Calvados (an apple brandy) would be really good too. Within 20 minutes it was in the oven baking, and the cake was ready right at the 50 minute mark. I made this in a springform pan that has a glass serving plate, and I was glad that I did because there was no way this cake was coming off the bottom without some serious damage. The crumb is just too tender to move. If you don't have a glass bottom springform I would suggest cutting out a circle of parchment paper and placing this in the bottom of your pan, and then gently lifting it with a large spatula to your serving plate.
This cake smells heavenly coming out of the oven and it was a little difficult to wait for it to cool, but I didn't want to damage it so I was patient. It is really good at room temperature, but I liked it even better when I warmed it a little before serving it with a dollop of whipped cream.
Apple Cinnamon Custard Cake
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, then cut into 1/2 cm thick slices
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons extra
- 1 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, sifted
- Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350℉.
- Grease a 9-inch springform pan with the butter.
- In a medium bowl, toss the apples with Grand Marnier to coat, and set aside.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the 1¼ cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt and ¼ tsp of the cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, milk, whole eggs, orange zest and vanilla to blend. Whisk dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to form a smooth batter, being careful not to over-mix.
- Transfer 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and mix in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour; set aside. Whisk egg yolks into remaining batter in the large bowl just to blend. Stir in the apples.
- Transfer the apple batter to prepared pan and, using a off-set spatula, spread batter into an even layer and press the apples in to submerge them.
- Pour the reserved batter evenly over the apple batter.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining caster sugar and cinnamon to blend, and then sprinkle it evenly over the batter.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake and release the pan sides.
- Cool cake for about 30 mins to serve warm, or cool completely. Dust with icing sugar.
- To serve, cut cake into wedges and serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
Recipe by Curtis Stone via the Coles (Australia) Website