Cousin Mary's Apple Cake
This is our cousin Mary in Ireland.
We love Mary, and we love her apple cake.
We've been trying, but ours never comes out like hers.
This is our third and, so far, best attempt.
This recipe will make four loaves of apple cake, which is a lot of apple cake even if you love it. If you wish, you can change that to two loaves of apple cake and 24 cupcakes or any combination you like. Or you can just make all four loaves and share!
Preheat your oven to 320 degrees F. Ready your loaf pans (buttered) and/or cupcake tins (use liners or butter). Cream together 12 oz castor sugar and 12 oz softened butter. In another bowl, measure out 18 oz self-rising flour. Crack six large eggs into a measuring cup and add milk to make 12 oz. Beat together.
With mixer on low, alternate adding the flour and the egg mixture into the creamed sugar and butter. Increase the mixer speed and keep scraping the sides until well mixed. The mixture will be rather thick.
---Edited to add: If you're doing the cupcakes, fill up those tins now, before you add apples! They will bake at 395 degrees for 12-15 minutes.---
Now you're going to peel your cooking apples. If you're doing just two loaves, you'll need about 6 to 8 small apples. We did all four loaves, and we used 12 apples. Cut them up, but leave them fairly chunky or, as Mary says, it won't look like apple cake. Mix the apples into the batter. Next, add about four tablespoons of cinnamon to the mixture. (You can use whatever spices you like, really--some nutmeg, some mixed spice, etc.)
Divide batter into pans and sprinkle a little brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
And Bob's your uncle!* This try didn't turn out too badly. Still not on a par with Mary's, but we're getting closer.
*If you're thinking, "What the heck does that mean?" click here for an explanation!