“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Apple Streusel Coffeecake

I tell ya what - one of the absolute greatest things that the USA introduced to my palate was the concept of the coffeecake. Not a coffee-flavoured cake, you understand - in the UK that's what a coffee cake is - but a cake to be eaten with a cup of coffee, somewhat less dense than a traditional cake, more like a muffin in consistency.

The other day I had bought a whole bunch of apples in town. On Fridays Tenterden has a market, which always used to be held in the car park outside the museum. For some reason it is not held there any more, but that is by the by. (I must ask my Mum who is a Town Councillor why they moved it). The market instead is held in various spots along the High Street, and it is quite fun on a Friday morning to wander along the street and investigate all the various stalls. Anyway, one of the stalls is a lady who sells fresh fruit and veg and last week she had 3 bags of apples and/or pears for £3. So I got two of apples and one of pears. I had been snacking on the pears all week (one of my absolute favourite fruits) and yesterday I looked in the cupboard and thought, "I gotta do something with all those apples before they go manky". As we all know, there's nothing worse than having to deal with stuff that's gone manky in your cupboard.

So I decided to whip up a big apple coffeecake. Here's the recipe I used:

3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1.75 cups sugar
1 cup sunflower oil
4 eggs
5 apples, cored, peeled and chopped roughly
a splash of lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon

Firstly I put the apples in a big mixing bowl, followed by the lemon juice (this will stop the apples turning brown and add a nice touch of citrus). Then I added the dry ingredients and the eggs. Using a big spoon or a fork or even your hands (hey, it's OK to get messy in the kitchen. That's why they invented soap and water), mix until combined  into a nice stodgy mixture. Get yourself a baking dish such as a loaf pan or preferably a casserole dish...

This sort of thing would do admirably.

and having greased it with some margarine, cooking spray or a smattering of cooking oil, dump the whole shebang into it and spread evenly. Then in a small bowl, take a handful of sugar, a handful of flour, another teaspoon of cinnamon and a splash of oil, combine until this mixture resembles a crumble topping, then spread on top of your coffeecake. Pop this into the oven at 350F for about 55 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean (or almost clean - it's OK to have a little moisture in the centre because that'll be delicious when it's cooled). What you should end up with should look something like this...

Cut the whole thing into squares and have one while it's still warm...

If you were to get a little butter on a knife and smear it onto the warm inside of this cake and eat it like that, I would not think any the less of you. In fact it would probably make you go up in my estimation.
This cake got a thumbs-up from everyone in the house, kids and dogs included.

Whip one up and then invite me for coffee!
Great way to use up fruit and keep 'em all happy.

Kooshti sante!

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