Apple Cake - a Limousin Speciality
Limousin Apple Cake
This moist, spicy apple cake is a Limousin speciality and is ideal to serve as a dessert at Les Trois Chenes Chambres d'hotes in the autumn. It makes use of the delicious, organic apples (they grow by themselves without any intervention from us at all!) that load our trees from September to December.
Of course Limousin is famous for apples and pears. It was here that the real Golden Delicious apple was perfected (not to be confused with the degraded commercial apples available in supermarkets).
This recipe includes walnuts, another autumn Limousin crop here. Many people in this region have their own walnut trees and bags of nuts are offered here at this time. What could be more appropriate than to serve this seasonal, traditional Limousin speciality? Well, to serve it on Limoge's famous white porcelain plates I suppose!
The rich history of apples in Limousin - home of Golden Delicious
The apple can be traced back to Turkey and Iran - perhaps the real Garden of Eden?, and came to France with the Romans. They flourish in Limousin, the high plains being not so dissimilar from their original terrain. They were grown in the orchards of chateaux and monasteries, the gardens of cottages and in the hedgerows and, along with chestnuts and potatoes, formed the staple diet of the people of Limousin. At the turn of the century, apples were mostly used for cider, which was one method for preserving them through the winter, however, Limousin apples were renown for their keeping abilities. Our apples, if chosen carefully and wrapped and stored well will easily last until Christmas.
The development of the apple industry didn't begin until the 20 century with the improvement of transport, and at that time the range of varieties of apple grown widened. They were sent to Paris, Marsailles, Germany, England and North Africa. For more information have a look at the site Pomme de Limousin.
Discover more about Fine Food and Wine
- Deligogo! Local Food, Wine - Cooking courses, wine tasting and wine tours
Facilitates contact between people who enjoy fine foods and drinks, and small scale producers and suppliers, both at home and abroad. Contact me for 50% off when you advertise.
To make this moist apple cake you will need:
- 6 - 8 apples
- 1/4 pint / 200ml / 1/2 cup of sunflower oil, olive oil or similar
- 5 oz, 200 g / 2/3 cup sugar
- 12 oz / 300g / 2 3/4 cups of sifted flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 level tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/8 pint / 1/4 cup / 75ml orange or grapefruit juice
- 4oz / 125g / 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped (optional)
- 3 level teaspoons of baking powder
- a slurp of vanilla essence
- pinch of salt
- Icing sugar to dust when serving
I used a 71/2 inch or 18cm diameter cake tin, 4 inches deep (11 cm), with a push-up bottom.
Prepare the apples
Peel, core and then chop the apples into chunks roughly about 1cm cubed. Put them into a bowl with the powdered cinnamon and stir until the apple is well coated. Set this aside.
The sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and add the chopped nuts. In a separate bowl (I know - three bowls, lots of washing up but I promise you it is worth it!), put the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil, and whisk well. Carefully mix the egg mixture into the flour a little at a time until you have a smooth paste. It should have a soft dropping consistency.
Prepare the tin
Oil your baking tin. I lined the base of mine with greaseproof paper, and I think this was a good idea. I then oiled the paper as well to be on the safe side.
If you want to line your cake tin have a look at this: How to Line a Cake Tin
Mix half the apple with the mixture
Add half the apple to the mixture and stir gently, then put into the cake tin. Pour the rest of the apple in a layer on top and sprinkle with a little more sugar. The bake in the oven at gas mark 3 for one hour. Check the progress. If it is browning on the top but still not cooked in the centre (test this by prodding lightly or putting a skewer into it - if the skewer comes out clean, it is cooked), cover with foil to protect it.
When the cake is ready you should be able to smell it! Test again, don't overcook or you will lose that fabulously moist texture we are aiming for. (You will soon notice that I don't do light, fluffy cakes that melt in the mouth - give me a nice, heavy, moist, cake any day!!)
Gently slip a knife around the edges and turn the cake upside down onto your hand, remove the paper then cool on a baking tray.
I served my Limousin apple cake on Limoges Porcelain
Limousin is famous for it's apples, it's Limousin beef cattle and for Limoges porcelain. At Les Trois Chenes I've chosen Limoges porcelain because it's a local product with a long and interesting history, but also because it's beautiful, fine to the point of being translucent, but very, very strong. Find out more about Limoges porcelain
How would you rate this recipe?
Variations on this apple cake recipe
- Try pears instead of apples
- Add orange rind cut into thin strips
- Add crystallised ginger
Apple cake for a birthday celebration
Other recipes from Les Trois Chenes
- Chicons in Cheesy Sauce
Chicory baked with ham or salmon. A perfect dish to serve to guests who attend our painting courses or stay with us at Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast in Limousin, France. Try it yourself if you rent our self-catering holiday cottage.
- Flower Fritters
It was early June last year when my friend Sue came to our Bed and Breakfast in Limousin, France, with her arms full of what we call acacia flowers, (they are really from the Robinia family though) and I soon...
- Fish for Friday - easy one pot fish dish
That is what we needed when we first began to offer evening meals at Les Trois Chenes guest house, and our friend Nick came up with this amazingly simple and mouth-wateringly gorgeous one-pot fish dish. ...
- Queen of Puddings
Queen of Puddings is one of our Great British pudings, economical, thrifty but delicious. We make it as a family pudding even though we serve French food for guests at our Bed and Breakfast in Limousin, France? You won't believe how wonderful, cheap
Visit Limousin and try our apples and speciality dishes
Why not plan a gourmet trip to this fascinating but forgotten corner of South West France? Why run with the crowd, the noise, the rip-off merchants, the traffic and traffic jams when you could relax in the countryside and enjoy real France?
For more information about our holiday cottage (gite, vacation rental), our guest house, (B&b, Bed and Breakfasts, chambres d'hotes or painting holidays send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, check out our website at www.lestroischenes.com or give me a ring on +33 (0)5 55 48 29 84
Enjoy our apples and apple cake at our bed and breakfast in Limousin, France
Have you tried this apple cake recipe?
Did you find it easy and deliciously moist?See results without voting
More by this Author
Queen of Puddings is one of our Great British puddings, economical, thrifty but delicious. You won't believe how wonderful, cheap and easy this popular traditional English dessert can be.
This is a wonderfully moist chocolate cake and one of the best chocolate cake recipe ever! And it’s such an easy cake to make. This French recipe has been passed around my circle of friends and is definately a...
- EDITOR'S CHOICE12
How to mark a route on Google Maps. This is a simple, illustrated explanation which will save you time and effort. Use add a route or add a shape to mark boundaries, walks, roads and areas. Useful for me to mark...