Irish Apple Cake with Custard

apple cake 3Sue posted this recipe for Irish Apple Cake on her blog The View from Great Island, and I put one together tonight as I was making dinner and ducking out of the kitchen every few minutes to watch our San Francisco Giants win the first game of the National League playoffs – yay! It’s a wonder I didn’t burn something; as it was, it took me until bedtime to get the last pot, bowl and springform pan washed.

< (After you spreaapple cake 1d the cake batter in the bottom of the pan, you make a layer of the sliced apples.)

The only thing I changed was the custard sauce, for which I cut the sugar by a third, and it was very nice. The whole cake is rich and very appley without being overly sweet, so that the streusel topping, for example, can be enjoyed in all its buttery crunchiness and you don’t feel that you are eating a caapple cake 2ndy bar.

(A streusel topping covers the apples as the final layer.) >

I used some Gala apples because I find the recommended Granny Smith to have a one-note sour taste; but the Galas were kind of blah so I added the juice of a lemon to brighten them up. I wouldn’t cut back on the amount of apple – in fact, I’d like to experiment and add one more apple, but next time I will go out of my way to find more flavorful fruit. Other than the barest hint of cinnamon there is not a lot of intense flavor to the cake, so the taste of the fruit is important.

My springform pan was 10″ in diameter instead of the 9″ that was called for, but the cake turned out lovely. It was ready about the time the baseball game was over, and we were in a good mood then and felt celebratory. Mr. Glad liked the cake very well.

apple cake 5

11 thoughts on “Irish Apple Cake with Custard

  1. Gretchen, I forgot to say…the store bought Granny’s never taste as good as the tree ripened. Once a frost hits my apple trees, the apples are SO much sweeter. It takes that thunk of frost to bring out the sweet…just like being a Christian, eh?


    1. I read a long New Yorker article one time about how apple varieties can morph in their characteristics over the years so that the fruit you get in one state 20 years after the variety was introduced halfway across the country might look and taste very different from its (recent) ancestor. I’m sure the first Granny Smiths I ate in the 1980’s were more complex and sweet.


  2. Hi, GJ. I left a comment on the lady’s blog that I read from Amer. Test Kitchen that it’s good to use a blend of apples, if you need both zippy flavor and juiciness. I would probably us a couple of G Smiths here, and a couple of jonathans or such. The lemon is a good idea. I noticed that you said the recipe really doesn’t have a lot of FLAVOR, and that’s such a problem with apple cake recipes! I would definitely add Allspice to the spices used. It’s such a wonderful spice, and is a kind of secret ingredient lately for us. I think I’ll make this for our church’s Thanksgiving dinner this year. Thanks!!!!


    1. Yes, I think Granny Smiths would be more pleasing in combination with another apple that is more appley. But Pippins are my favorite for cooking, because they seem to have the perfect complex apple flavor all on their own. Unfortunately, they are hard to find in the stores; I usually have to drive across the county to get them at the farm. I got the lemon juice idea from Joy of Cooking – they also suggest adding vanilla if your apples lack flavor. I don’t like my apple pies too spicy, but I might add cardamom sometime…


  3. Thank you for sharing! ♥ We have lot of apples in our house right now. Over the weekend, we went to an Irish dance competition. It was really fun! So, it seems that an Irish apple cake (with custard, which sounds divine) is due!!! Maybe tomorrow?


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