“I want your cheeks to glow like these apples” my mother told me when I was recuperating from a bout of typhoid as an eleven year old. She was pointing towards the crate of fresh and juicy apples that she had specially ordered for me from Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh which produces some of the best apples in India.
Those were the early 90’s and liberalization of policies was just being implemented in India. This meant that produce and goods from other countries were not available easily and people had to rely more on seasonal and local produce. This is a far cry from the markets today, especially in big cities where the markets are studded with produce from all over and one has to look for local produce.
Particularly apples! One can see apples from New Zealand, Australia and other countries but good seasonal Indian apples are hard to come by!
I have a definite liking for apples from Himachal Pradesh in India. It could be because they are local and seasonal, it could be because of their sweet and succulent flesh or it could be because of the memory of my mother pampering me with these apples while I was recuperating, making it one of my childhood food memories.
I do not know the reason! But, what I do know is that I love these apples, love to snack on them and also make this cake with these apples.
It is quite ironical that I’m writing about this cake now as this was one of the earliest cakes I made when I began to bake. Made from a recipe scribbled on a yellow paper in my possession I made this cake for my parents 25th anniversary as well. As I wanted an elaborate icing for the occasion, I skipped the glace icing and took it to the neighbourhood bakery where the baker/owner beautifully iced the cake for me! One of the joys of small city dwelling I guess!
You could use any variety of apples to make this cake. The addition of spices make this a warm comforting cake. And the lime glace icing gives a nice tang that complements the soothing flavours quite well.
You could serve this cake plain, with the lime glace icing or even with an elaborate icing for a special occasion. And this serves well as a snack cake or even as a dessert. And when this cake is served warm with a scoop of ice cream on the side, it is sheer joy to the palate!
To me, apples and this apple cake will always remind me of comforting flavours, my mother’s unconditional love and the heady happiness that comes from successfully baking a cake for your loved ones.
Eggfree Apple Spice Cake With Lime Glace Icing
You can replace the plain flour with whole wheat flour. Although the cake would be dense and crumbly, it would taste great!
2 small apples to make 3/4th cup apple stew
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
100 gm (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
150 gm (3/4 cup) castor sugar (add 2 tbsp more for a sweeter cake)
1 tsp vanilla extract
175 gm (1 1/4 cup) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
extra cinnamon powder for sprinkling (optional)
Grease and line a 7” round cake tin.
Peel the apples, core and chop them up. Add 2 to 3 tbsp water, cover and cook until soft. Puree the cooked apples in a blender until smooth. You should get about 3/4th cup apple puree.
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F
In a bowl mix the plain flour, baking powder and sieve once to make the mixture uniform.
In a large bowl, with a whisk or hand blender or in a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
Stir in the soda, the nutmeg powder and cinnamon powder into the warm apple puree and mix well. Spoon the apple puree into the butter and sugar mixture.
Put in the sifted flour and beat for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.
Place the cake batter in the prepared tin and bake for an hour or until a skewer comes clean.
When the cake is baked, remove from the tin and allow to cool. If doing the Lime Glace Icing, then spoon the icing over the cake and dust with cinnamon powder.
Lime Glace Icing
1 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp hot water (or more or less)
In a bowl put in the icing sugar. Stir in the lime juice and hot water and mix with a spoon until smooth. Use more water for a thinner consistency and more sugar for a thicker consistency.
Spread the icing over the cake.
*1 cup = 250 ml