My mom, rest her sweet soul, was Norwegian. "Straight off the boat", as she would say. She would make the most delicious and moist Norwegian Apple Cake....and I cannot find the recipe. My sister and I have tried to replicate it, and we've come close, but I haven't yet found The Perfect Recipe. Perhaps it was just my mother's touch that made it so fabulous. Or just the special memories of the cake, and memories of my dear mommy.
A few Christmases ago I bought an awesome cookbook for my sister (and one for myself). It's called The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, by Beatrice Ojakangas. Within are tons of Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Danish recipes. I've baked many of them, and they've all been fantastic. Many remind me of the baked goods I tasted in Norway when visiting my grandma, uncles, aunts, and cousins over the years.
This Swedish Apple Cake is *very* close to the recipe I've been searching for, with the exception of the almonds. My mom never added nuts to her Norwegian Apple Cake. I've adapted it a little bit, but the essence is the same.
The batter is simple----butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, chopped apples, vanilla, and sliced almonds. Additional apples are cut into wedges, tossed in cinnamon and sugar, and nestled into the batter, which has been spread into a springform pan. Then more sliced almonds are sprinkled on top, as well as some coarse "pearl" sugar.
The cake is baked for an hour or so, then cooled. Once the collar of the springform pan is released, you can hardly wait to cut a slice!
A scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream would be perfect atop this cake, especially if served warm. Oh my.
Enjoy the recipe!!!
Swedish Apple Cake
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract
6 small to medium apples
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sliced almonds, divided
3 tablespoons pearl sugar
Butter a 10 inch round springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel the apples. Core and slice four of them into 8 wedges each. Core and chop the remaining two apples.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Add the almond extract or vanilla extract.
Combine the flour and baking powder. Mix into the creamed mixture until well blended. Fold in the chopped apples and ½ cup almond slices. Spread batter into prepared springform pan.
In a medium bowl, toss apple wedges with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Press apple wedges into the cake batter in a circular pattern with the wedges all facing the same direction. Pour any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the apples. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup almond slices over the apples. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons pearl sugar. (Pearl sugar is coarse sugar. Regular granulated sugar can be used.)
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake and gently remove the collar of the springform pan. Cool. Serve with freshly whipped cream, if desired.