My family always called this not-too-sweet apple cake “nobby” because my mother roughly chopped the apples, a method that left the top distinctly rough and, well, nobby! While she usually made it for dessert and served it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, it somehow reappeared at breakfast and fit in there equally well with a cup of tea or coffee. The recipe is a variation of Kerry Apple Cake — one her mother, Minnie O’Sullivan, often made as a reminder of her birthplace Bounard, Rathmore, County Kerry. You’ll find other great apple recipes in Chapter No. 3: Autumn, An Fómhar, in my cookbook Favorite Flavors of Ireland. To order a signed copy with FREE SHIPPING, visit www.irishcook.com.
NOBBY APPLE CAKE
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 large egg, beaten
2 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch square or round baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium; beat in egg. Stir in apples, nuts, vanilla, and flour mixture.
3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert onto serving plate, return to upright, and dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting into slices or squares. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Photos: Bergin's Farm Stand, near Kilkenny; Signpost, Rathmore, County Kerry. Margaret M. Johnson