If you have one bowl, some apples and a grater you can make this dessert in no time!
Some call it apple crumble, others apple pie. I call it apple cake. So, the above title seemed fitting! ( So you know, I’ve also considered to add “tart” in the title but the “name apple crumble pie tart cake” was a little confusing, even for me :P).
No matter the name, everyone agrees that this is the best thing you can make with some apples (OK, I think I’ve said the word apples way too many times already). This dessert is very very easy and you don’t need a mixer or any kind of fancy equipment. It also requires only 10 ingredients! And though sometimes the rule “no pain, no gain” applies in the kitchen too, this is not the case. Find some of your favorite apples, take one bowl and a grater and you’re good to go. Probably you already have at home all of the rest of the ingredients. The final product of this recipe is a dessert that will leave in awe anyone who’ll taste it, and make them think that you’re an accomplished pastry chef (no kidding guys).
Give me a minute to tell you some things about this apple crumble pie cake. First you smell it. Have you ever happened to pass by a local bakery the moment they take out of the oven their freshly baked goods? Remember that nutty, buttery smell from the baked, browned dough? Now mix this aroma with a caramel-y, cinnamon-y, flowery smell from the filling and there you have it. Truly, the combination of apples, brown sugar and cinnamon is something extraordinary.
Cutting it, it’s another revelation. First you see the crumbly, cookie-like top, sprinkled with icing sugar. You start to wonder what the filling will be like. You see that the shredded apples and sugar have magically transformed into a warm marmalade. Then you see the base. Is it like a big cookie? Is it a cake? Is it something in between? I have to admit, my favorite part is the outer, golden baked crust that I always leave for the end. I start eating my slice from the inner side, enjoying the different textures at every bite and impatiently moving towards the edge. This final bite leaves me perfectly satisfied!
As I already have said, this recipe is very easy and uses very simple ingredients. Butter, flour, sugar, apples, some baking powder and an egg. And some aromatics. It’s also very quick. Probably the thing that will take most of your time is shredding the apples. I give them a quick wash, then shred them whole, through the big holes of the grater, with their skin and discard the cores. Also you don’t have to roll out the dough or anything. Just press pieces of dough on the pan with your hands, and when completely covered, smooth it out with a spoon. That’s it!
Covering the filling with the crumbs always seems a little funny to me (with no reason). Because the warmth of your hands will melt some of the butter, it is best to store this part of the dough in the refrigerator to keep it cold. And don’t be tempted to get all the pieces the same size… It’s supposed to be uneven, like a rocky road!
Please, make this recipe! You won’t regret it!
You can eat it as breakfast with a glass of milk. You can eat it as a snack with a cup of coffee. You can eat it for dessert after a nice dinner. You can bring it with you when invited for dinner. Everyone will love it!
- 3 ¾ cups (500 grams) all purpose flour
- 5 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder
- 2 sticks (250 grams) room temperature butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 4 – 5 apples (depending on how much apple filling you want)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar (I use half brown and half caster)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Some icing sugar for dusting
- A greased, 10-inch (25 cm) pan with a removable bottom works best, but you can also use a plain pan.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a large bowl, mix with a fork the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add the butter and mix until crumbly.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix again until a soft, crumbly dough forms. Don’t overdo it.
- Divide dough in three, and put the one third, wrapped with some cling film, in the refrigerator.
- Take the remaining two thirds and press pieces of dough on the pan with your hands. Cover the bottom and a little up the sides, like a tart. When completely covered, smooth it out with a spoon.
- In the same bowl (without cleaning it, it doesn’t matter) shred the apples, using the side of your grater with the big holes. I leave the skin on, but you can peel them if you want. During this process, drizzle them now and then with some lemon juice.
- When you finish shredding them, squish them between your hands to get rid of the excess juices.
- Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix well. This will bring out some more juices, but that’s OK.
- Fill the pan with the apples and juices.
- Take the rest of the dough from the refrigerator and crumble it with your hands over the filling. Some crumbs will be big and others smaller. That’s the beauty of it!
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until golden on top.
- Cool and sprinkle with some powdered sugar.