Preparation time: 1- 1.5 hours
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
- 2.5 kgs golden delicious apples
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 500g sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger or cinnamon (optional)
1x 23cm springform cake tin
1 deep sided baking tray
Step 1 - Peel and core the apples and then slice them as thinly as possible with a mandolin. You'll do your sanity good if you buy bigger ones as I used smaller apples and ended up peeling, coring and mandolining about 16 apples. Place in a large bowl of cold water with the lemon juice.
Step 2 - Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Now this is the bit that took me an hour. Place the apples in a single layer and then sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar over each layer. Make sure to drain the apple slices from the lemon water but don't dry them until they are bone dry, a sieve will do. When a quarter of the apples are laid out, press the top of the cake gently down with your hands to squeeze the layers together.
Step 4 - Bake for another 30 minutes and remove from oven. With an oven mitt in one hand and a large spoon in another carefully tip the baking tray to one side slightly and spoon up the syrup and place it on top of the cake. Bake for another 20 minutes. Then turn up the temperature to 200c/400F and bake for 10 minutes to brown the top.
Step 5 - Remove the cake from the oven and if the syrup is still pale, place in a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce until thickened and golden. Or if it's thick and golden pour the syrup over the cake. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes and then unclip the spring form collar and place it on a serving plate on the spring form base. Serve with vanilla ice cream or cream. Collapse, exhausted from the effort, and watch television immediately.