A moist and delicious cake with a beautiful fragrance of cooked apples and Vino Cotto that will fill the kitchen whilst it is cooking in your oven. The slight crunch of the fig pips and pine nuts takes this humble apple cake to another level.
This traditional recipe from Southern Italy celebrates the villager’s way of life.
1kg Granny Smith apples (approx.. 5-6 apples), peeled, cored, thinly sliced
½ lemon rind, finely grated
120gm dried figs, finely chopped
80gm pine nuts, roasted (optional: mixture of walnuts & pine nuts)
¼ to ½ cup Vino Cotto (depending on how much the figs soak up)
1/3 cup caster sugar
120g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
170 ml milk
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Double cream or ice-cream, to serve
Prepare the Vino Cotto soaked fruit at least 2 hours ahead to allow the fruit to infuse the flavours of the Vino Cotto.
Combine sliced apples and grated rind of half a lemon in a bowl and toss to coat. Add figs and Vino Cotto to apples and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Stir on the occasion to help penetrate the flavours.
Preheat oven to 180C degree.
Grease a 24cm spring form cake tin.
Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until pale and creamy. Melt butter and add to egg mixture with milk, flour and baking powder. Stir to combine.
To assemble cake, pour a third of the cake mixture into prepared tin. Arrange a third of the apple and fig mixture on top and scatter some of the pine nuts. Repeat, finishing with apple and fig mixture and a thin layer of cake mixture. Pour any remaining Vino Cotto from the fruit bowl into the cake.
Combine icing sugar and cinnamon and scatter over cake.
Bake until firm for 50 minutes or until firm, cool in tin for a few minutes.
Serve cake with double cream or ice-cream with some Vino Cotto drizzled on ice-cream.