A few weeks back the Australian Womens’ Weekly had a recipe for a Raspberry Custard Teacake in it. I made it. Three times. It was good but there was something lacking. Or actually more annoying for you see, the custard, it kept sinking. I knew it would, you could see it in the photos in the magazine but I didn’t want it to sink, I wanted it through the cake.
So I mulled on it a while.
And then, in making something else from the magazine’s cookbook 1000 Best Ever Recipes from AWW I came across a recipe for apple custard cupcakes. With some tweaking (the apple coming from its apple pie slice rather than plain sliced apple) I have found it. The best cupcake ever. EVER!
Use a traditional sized cupcake tray, not a muffin tray. I have also made it as a cake by doubling it all but it was a bit tricky and I burnt the crap out of the bottom of it as it – obviously – needs a while to cook through. Next time I’d probably make it as a slab cake rather than round tall cake.
Apple Custard Teacakes
1000 Best Ever Recipes from AWW
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup SR flour
1/4 cup custard powder
2 tbsp milk
30g butter, melted
1 tblsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
The apple (you’ll only use about half of this in the recipe but mmm stewed apples, put the leftovers on your brekkie – unless you have eggs, because that’d be gross)
6 medium apples (just under 1kg), peeled, cored, cut into 1cm pieces
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sultanas
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tbsp custard powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
To make the custard:
Mix the custard powder and sugar with the milk and vanilla
In a small saucepan stir over heat until the mixture boils and thickens
Remove from heat, pour into a bowl, cover the surface with clingwrap and cool
To cook the apples:
Cooke apples, sugar, the water and sultanas in a large saucepan, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the apple is soft and the mixture is not too wet
Stir in spice and rind and let cool.
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 180C and line 12 hole 1/3 cup cupcake (or small muffin) tray
Beat the butter, sugar, extract, eggs, flour, custard powder and milk in a small bowl of an electric mixer until ingredients combined, then increase speed and beat until mixture has turned to a pale colour
Spoon 1 heaped dessert spoon (approx) into each paper case (or divide whole mixture in half then distribute half into the paper cases)
Top with a heaped teaspoon of apple mixture
Top the apple with a heaped teaspoon of custard
Top the custard with another heaped dessert spoon of cake batter – try and cover the custard, yes, a bit fiddly but worth it.
Bake cakes for about 30 minutes
Brush hot cakes with melted butter and sprinkle over combined sugar and cinnamon
Don’t you love reviving a recipe you used to made decades ago only to discover it is as delicious as your memories made it? I’d be nervous to try that principle with my Nan’s chow mein (think a lot of cabbage, beef mince and curry paste, there may even have been sultanas) or Mum’s apricot chicken (the one using the can of apricot nectar and the packet of french onion dip mix which I still see doing the rounds) but with this slice it was a delightful trip down memory lane.
Seriously, it’s probably been more than two decades since I started making this. I am fairly certain it is a Women’s Weekly recipe – how could it not be! When Mum had a piece she recalled this was one of the first recipes I made from go to wo on my own. So I was probably 10 or 12.
Pineapple Apple Slice
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
410g can of crushed pineapple, well drained
480g can of pie apple
Grease and flour a 22cm square cake pan and preheat the oven to 180C
Cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well
Fold in the flour, the batter with be thick
Spoon half the mix into the base of the tin and spread evenly
Top with the mixed tinned pineapple and apple
Dollop spoons of the batter over the top and smooth out as best you can – this is not a precise science, it’s OK to have some of the filling sticking through
Bake for 45 minutes, cool and then sift over some icing sugar.
OH my lordy be people, this pie is beyond sensational. BEYOND. The recipe is from Ben O’Donoghue – one of those great Aussie chefs who does really flavoursome unpretentious food. For those in the know, he appears on the UK food program called The Best, which is always always entertaining and gives you inspiration to get up and go and start cooking, which is more than I can say for the 98% of the current programming on the Lifestyle Food channel.
Anyway, this recipe comes from the August 2008 issue of Delicious magazine and while I significantly reduced the amound of sugar in with the apples and didn’t use the spices because I didn’t have them, the pastry is one recipe I will be using over and over again – DIVINE.
Ben says it’s his nan’s recipe and that rings true – I recall my nan making pastry using some custard powder as well and it being flaky and buttery and divine. It really makes it.
This was also the first time I’d done a free form pie and I expected it to be a disaster, oozing liquid and being a downright mess. It was an absolute sensation. Next time I’d probably add a little – just a little – more liquid and cook the apples just a little longer, but now I’m just nitpicking, go, make it, NOW.
Free form apple pie From Delicious magazine, August 2008, by Ben Donoghue
1kg granny smith apples
1 cup caster sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 star anise
3 cups plain flour
1/3 cup custard powder
1 cup icing sugar
350g chilled butter
3 egg yolks
For the pastry, place the dry ingredients in a food processor
Add butter and blitz until it looks like breadcrumbs
Add the yolks and process until the pastry comes together in a smooth ball
Divide into two then knead into flat discs
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour
Meanwhile, peel and core the apples and slice into wedges
Place in a pan over medium heat with sugar*, juice and spices
Cook for 10 minutes or until the fruit is tender but still holds its shape
Cool then discard the spices
Preheat oven to 180C
Roll out the pastry discs between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick, 28cm circles
Place one circle on a baking tray, leaving the bottom sheet of paper in place as a lining
Place the apple mixture in the centre, leaving a 3cm border, brush the border with a lightly beaten egg
Top with remaining pastry, press down the border, then trim the edges into a neat circle and pinch edges together to seal
Brush the top with some beaten egg, bake for 30 minutes
Sprinkle with caster sugar and bake for a further 10 minutes until nice and golden
Serve with custard, ice cream or both.
* Now, I’m sure if you used this amount it would caramelise beautifully and draw more liquid out of the apples, but in this house we like the pastry sweet and the apples tart, so I only added 2 tablespoons of sugar. As I said above, next time I’d add a dash more water and/or cook the apples a little longer for the filling to be a little more ‘wet’.