Fortunately, not everything is so crazy expensive in Sydney right now. As it happened, I'd purchased five apples for the grand total of 40 cents at Paddy's Markets in Chinatown on Friday so with a few pantry and fridge staples, a little bit of mixing and folding, peeling, slicing, arranging, and baking, some alternative sweet satisfaction - as capital D Delicious as the apples it was made with - was at hand in under an hour. It might not be a house, but this cake is definitely homey. It brought back memories of the tea cakes my Scottish grandmother (who I strongly suspect had some Danish ancestory somewhere back there) used to put out when we'd visit her after school: simple, sweet, comforting, and perfect with a cup of tea.
Danish apple cake
Adapted from a recipe by Frank Camorra in the Sydney Morning Herald
With its easy-to-remember proportions and short list of staple ingredients this is the perfect stand-by cake, able to be whipped up on autopilot at a moment's notice. You could use pears instead of apples if that's what you prefer, or had on hand.
175g butter, softened
175g caster (superfine) sugar
175g self-raising flour
500g Golden Delicious apples (or variety of your choice)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon white sugar (I misread this and used 1 teaspoon to no ill effect)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 22cm round cake tin. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in flour - the mixture will be quite stiff. Peel, quarter and thinly slice the apples. Spread half the batter in the bottom of the cake tin and scatter over half the sliced apple. Cover with the rest of the batter and arrange the remaining apple slices in a pinwheel pattern on top. Mix cinnamon and sugar together, then sprinkle over the apple. Place in centre of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.