Once again, I’m scrambling to get posts written on time. Thankfully, I find the writing to be the easy, fun part of food blogging. Second only to the eating, of course. There was a boy crisis last night (for once, not my boy crisis) that called for wine and pizza and more wine. It may or may not have been a situation where there was drinking from whole bottles (classy women!), but I can’t confirm or deny this. And the night may or may not have ended with polishing off the last bits of Irish Apple Crumb Cake with Honey Whipped Cream.
So obviously, there was minimal blog-posting going on. And here I am, at 4:30 a.m. getting finger cramps from furious typing because I am going to fit in the gym, a full workday, a nap (please, oh please let there be a nap in my future) and a Brantley Gilbert concert.
Irish Apple Crumb Cake with Honey Whipped Cream is one of a handful of St. Patrick’s Day recipes I’ll have for you over the next couple of weeks. It’s adapted from a cookbook, Irish Pub Cooking, that I’ve had for several years and yet I’ve never made anything from it before. (Basically, all of my cookbooks fall into this category. I love to look at the pictures though. And I think they look really good lined up on my bookshelves.)
I was tempted to add oats or walnuts or a custard cream sauce — something to jazz it up (i.e. Americanize it by making it so way over the top and rich and sugary and sweet), but I decided to make life easy and to stay as true to the authentic recipe as I could. Except then I made it easier. And then I added Honey Whipped Cream.
Basically, Irish Apple Crumb Cake has three parts:
- The slightly sweet cake. It’s very mild. It’s funny to me that they eat this in Ireland for dessert because, in America, we would eat this for breakfast. That’s how mildly sweet it is. The cake also has this baking powder taste that I personally loooove. If you’ve ever had authentic soda bread or real European scones then you know what I’m talking about.
- The apple layer. My gala apples stayed slightly crisp and they are that perfect balance of a little bit sweet and a little bit tart.
- The crumb topping AKA the best part. It’s golden brown and a perfectly crunchy on top, but creamy and moist underneath where it meets the apple. It’s just a crumbled, buttery shortbread and I swear, if you left me alone with it for 10 minutes, that layer would disappear.
And then you add this fourth part:
The Honey Whipped Cream. This was of my own design. Any excuse to make a homemade whipped cream. I generally use a standard recipe, but I shrugged my shoulders and added honey instead of sugar. Honey and apples is a thing, right? Well, by God, it’s a thing now. It works because that hit of honey is unexpected — it’s much sweeter than the rest of the cake. And the coolness of it atop a warm slice… it’s just…
… it’s a match made in heaven. Irish Apple Crumb Cake with Honey Whipped Cream reminds of my grandparents: 92 years old, thick as thieves for 71 of them. Comfortable. Meeting each other half way. Each bringing something different to the table that’s better together than it is on it’s own. (Although, let’s be real, Nana and Grampy are each pretty incredible in their own right.) Or maybe I’m just thinking of them because my Grampy wears this Irish cap — so it’s a natural leap from Irish food to Irish cap, yeah? — and my Nana is always right there by his side.
I’ll end with this cookbook excerpt: “Legend has it that St. Patrick himself planted an apple tree in an ancient [Irish] settlement.” So I think that’s a pretty good argument for starting (and/or finishing) your St. Patrick’s Day with Irish Apple Crumb Cake with Honey Whipped Cream.
Irish Apple Crumb Cake with Honey Whipped Cream
Irish Apple Crumb Cake with Honey Whipped Cream is a recipe match made in heaven. Eat it for breakfast or dessert... I ate it for both! Adapted from the Irish Pub Cooking cookbook.
For the streusel:
- 3/4 cup flour
- 6 tablespoons butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 pound baking apples I used 2 gala apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
For the whipped cream
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
For the streusel
Use your fingers to mix flour, butter, and sugar, until a crumbly consistency. Set aside.
For the cake
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gently fold in flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in milk as mixture becomes thicker.
Spoon the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange apples on top in an even layer. sprinkle streusel evenly on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
For the whipped cream:
When you put your cake in the oven, place a metal mixing bowl and your hand mixer attachments in the freezer. Make sure your cream is cold in the refrigerator. When ready to serve cake, combine whipping cream, honey, and vanilla in the metal mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until medium-firm peaks form, about 5 minutes. Top cake slices with a dollop of whipped cream.
More St. Patrick’s Day sweets from The Every Kitchen:
(Please know that I am an affiliate for this cookbook. That means, if you make a purchase through one of the above links, I will receive a commission. However, these opinions are all my own.)