This comes from the St. David's School Cookbook (1974) and I have been making it now for thirty years. It's wonderful for parties; it's very elegant and rich, and really extraordinarily delicious. The pastry--which is really like shortbread--is good enough to eat by itself; the combination makes for a great dessert. It is rich enough that it doesn't need whipped cream (though I wouldn't stop anyone from adding some).
- 1 lb sweet butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 4 -5 cups unbleached white flour
- 5 lbs apples (I recommend a combination of Granny Smith and Mackintosh)
- 8 ounces apricot jam
- 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
- For the crust:.
- Blend the softened butter with the sugar thoroughly.
- When creamy, add egg yolks vanilla and salt.
- Mix well.
- Blend in flour gradually, mixing lightly by hand until a homogenous mass.
- Pat dough into a 12" rectangular pyrex baking dish until it is evenly distributed over the bottom and part way up the sides.
- For the filling:.
- Peel and core apples and slice them into fairly thin slices.
- Sprinkle the slices with lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar as you go, placing them into a bowl, until all the apples are sliced.
- Warm the jam.
- If it is in a glass jar, loosen the lid and place the jar in a small pot of water, with the water coming half way up the side of jar.
- Simmer over low heat until jam is soft.
- Spread half the jam on the surface of the crust, and then place the apples, slightly overlapping, in as many rows as the bottom will take.
- If you are using Mackintosh apples, they will shrink more and tend to break.
- Keep your prettiest slices for the top, and arrange them attractively.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the rest of the jam across the the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle the top with almonds (I always leave this out unless I'm making it for a certain person).
- Bake in a 350° oven for about an hour, until crust and apples are golden.
This cake was a lot of work, let me tell you! My daughter and I made this for the kids cooking challenge for ZWT4 and it was something else. There was an awful lot of crust, maybe too much. Even after 20 extra minutes in the oven, our apples were not done and there was a lot of liquid instead of something more syrupy from the apples and sugar as it should have been. I think that this may be something that I am just not talented enough to pull off. I don't know. Bottom line, my daughter that it was superb. There's where all the stars come in. I will agree that it is very good. We certainly had a great time making it together. Thanks for the posting.
Sorry my family didn't care for this. The shortbread crust had a good taste to it (ALOT of butter!)but the rest was dissappointing because it was nothing special. I used granny smith apples only and the crust made a huge portion - probably didn't need that much dough.
BF gave this cake immediately 5 stars, although he is ususally not that generous with his 5 star ratings. I also think it is a lovely cake. BF finds the crust rather special. When I saw the recipe I thought that there is a glaze based on eggs and milk missing. After tasting a tiny piece of the cake I must say that it is good as it is and in no need of a glaze. I wouldn't describe it as an elegant cake as Kate does in her intro. I would rather say it as a simple, lovely, tasty cake. However, BF disagrees, he thinks although he wouldn't describe it as elegegant, neither would he call it simple, as the crust stans out from other crusts. I halved the recipe and baked the cake in a special tin consisting of several parts that can be pinned together to make rectangular cakes up to 12 inches. I used 2 Granny Smith and another apple type which was labelled as sweet. I've started making this cake on Kate's birthday, finished it the morning afterwards and took it to BF yesterday at his birthday. This way, the cake both served as Kate's (virtual) and BF's (real) birthday present! I'm glad that BF likes it a lot and we are looking forward to trying some more of the lovely cake today.