Sunday, February 18, 2007

Apple Torte

The Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan is our host for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging.

This week I'll be using an ingredient that originates from right here in Australia - the ever popular Granny Smith.

granny smith apple© by haalo

The Granny Smith apple is named after it's creator, Mrs Mary Ann (Granny) Smith and they were first grown in Eastwood, Sydney in 1867. They are a hybrid and thought to be the result of propagating the seed of the European Wild Apple with the domestic Apple. This event is celebrated in late October in Eastwood with the annual Granny Smith Festival.

The Granny Smith is a tart but juicy and crisp apple - a favourite for the quintessential apple pie. Nutritionally, it's a good source of Vitamin C and fibre but also contains Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron.

I'll be using these apples for a pie but it's a totally different type of apple pie. This recipe comes from Queensland's award winning bistro E'cco - one bite from this torte will have you singing praises to Granny Smith.

apple torte© by haalo

Apple Torte
[Makes 1 x 26cm (10.5 inch) torte]

6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced
juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs
250 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100 grams melted unsalted butter
100 mls milk
150 grams plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
100 grams roasted hazelnuts, chopped roughly
120 grams sultanas, chopped if large
100 grams pine nuts
3 tablespoons caster sugar, extra
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F.
Grease and line the base of a 26cm/10.5" spring-form tin with baking paper.

Toss the sliced apples in lemon juice and set aside.

Place the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until thick and pale.
Add the milk and butter - stirring to mix through.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and then fold into the wet ingredients. When almost combined, add the hazelnuts, sultanas and pine nuts.
Finally fold through the apple slices along with any lemon juice.

Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top over.
Mix the extra caster sugar with the cinnamon and then sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until the cake is cooked through. If you find the top browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue cooking.
Let it sit in the tin about 10 minutes before removing - you'll find that the cake will contract as it cools making removal a lot easier.
Cool on a wire rack.

apple torte© by haalo

You can dust the torte with icing sugar if you like, but I found it best served as is and still slightly warm from the oven.

apple torte© by haalo

Soft and creamy with a crisp toffee-like crust and the pure sweetness of apples infuse this torte - there's not much better than this.


  1. Oh my - this looks absolutely lovely! Apples, hazelnuts, and pine nuts - fabulous! I am going to try this one....

  2. I love the way the apples look almost stacked where you have cut through the torte. Interesting too to learn a little bit about Granny and her apples.

  3. Haalo, at first glance I thought you had made an upside down cake.

    The topping looks delicious.

    Granny Smith's are, I think, the best apples we have for apple desserts, pies and cakes.

  4. Thanks Chris - do let me know if you make it.

    Thanks Tim - the apple slices just naturally form that stacked look as the cake cooked, a bit like a potato gratin.

    Thanks Karen - the topping is just the cinnamon sugar caramelising during the long cooking time. It's hard to resist nibbling on little pieces of it. The granny smith is such a versatile apple, it's juicy and crunchy and doesn't seem to turn to mush.

  5. A Granny Smith Festival sounds pretty cool, but then I looked at the line up and it seems kinda daggy - I mean, what does Humphrey B Bear have to do with apples! heh heh :p

  6. Wow!!! My husband would love me to have a go at making this. The inside of the torte looks amazing. Well done.

  7. Haalo,

    Your torte is magnificent! That toffee crust looks delicious, what a beautiful combination of flavors!

    Granny Smith is my all-time favorite apple - I love it because it's tart.

  8. I used Bramley apples to make my sauce today. I think it's a toss up between them and Granny Smiths.

    There are some food photos which make food look nice and some like yours that just make food scream out to be eaten. Full marks again.

  9. This looks delicious, crisp outside, soft creamy inside! Yum!

  10. Granny Smith's are my most favorite apple, and this might be my new favorite pie.

  11. You are outdoing yourself every week. This looks amazing. I think I'd cheat on my diet for a taste of this!

  12. Hi Y - Humphrey is an icon and I'm sure he'll keep this kids happy as the parents go off to see the rolling stones tribute band ;)

    Thanks Margaret - do give it a go you won't regret it!

    Thanks Patricia - it's one of those cakes you can easily have seconds, thirds and fourths ;)

    Thanks Trig you always say the nicest things! Bramley's are a bit harder to find here but they are a great apple.

    Thanks Freya - that's exactly what this torte is like!

    Thanks Sara - I hope that means you are going to make this ;)

    Thanks Kalyn you are too kind. Well, I suppose you could argue that it is mostly apples, I'm sure apples are allowed!

  13. This is a delightfully different apple torte! I love that it is really about the apples, and not just a cake that happens to have apples.

  14. Thanks CL and congrats on the wonderful job you did of hosting WHB!

  15. That torte looks wonderful! I have been more into cooking than baking, but I MUST have a go at this. Can anyone tell me would self-raising flour make any significant difference to this?

  16. Hi Maximonk - self raising flour probably wouldn't give you enough lift and the torte might end up too stodgy.
    Self raising flour is usually made in the ratio 1 teaspoon baking powder to 200 grams plain flour - in this recipe it calls for 2 teaspoons of baking powder in just 150 grams of plain flour. If you used SR flour you would need to add extra baking powder.

  17. I made this on friday (and ate the last slice this afternoon) and well all loved it! This will reappear on our table very soon!

  18. That's great news Honeybee, thank you for letting me know. I'm so happy you all enjoyed it!

  19. You're welcome! In fact, I liked the torte (and your blog) so much, I did a post about in on my blog. All those great recipes you write about got me into baking mood - I fear for my waistline... ;-)

  20. That is so lovely of you, thank you!

  21. Hello Haalo, I'd love to make this torte but I'd like to ask you if it's worth it without the nuts as I want to make it for someone with a nut allergy

  22. The nuts aren't really a major factor in the cake, they offer some textural change so I think it would be okay to make it without them

  23. thank you Haalo, it's in the oven, will let you know what happens tomorrow:)

  24. Hope it turns out okay!

  25. it was a triumph:) This recipe will be my favourite bake-with-apples recipe! thank you

  26. Excellent! I'm so happy to hear that.

  27. I am going to use this recipe for Easter dessert, it looks amazing.
    Risky though bringing a new dessert to a family function - it looks reliable enough.

  28. I just made this and it was delicious - love the fruit and nut combination.


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