Irish Apple Cake – Darina Allen Traditional Irish Cooking

I made the apple cake from Darina Allen’s Traditional Irish Cooking again today to have after roast dinner. A much more appropriate time to serve it up. It’s called Irish Apple Cake but really it’s a type of apple pie made with a soft dough-like pastry. The pastry is quick and easy to make with ingredients you’re always likely to have to hand but be careful when handling as it is very soft and easy to tear. I think the egg wash is essential but I never know what to do with the rest of the egg. It’s one of those times when I wish we still kept quail, quail’s eggs are a perfect size for egg washing pastry. I also added cinnamon and nutmeg as the original recipe only had 2-3 cloves and was a bit bland.


  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 110g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 50ml milk
  • 2 cooking apples
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • beaten egg to glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Sieve flour and baking powder into a bowl
  3. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  4. Add 85g sugar, then make a well and mix in milk and beaten egg until it forms a soft dough (you may need to add more flour if the dough is sticky)
  5. Divide into two
  6. Roll out half and place on a greased ovenproof plate
  7. Peel and core cooking apples and slice apples onto dough
  8. Sprinkle remaining sugar and spices onto the top
  9. Roll out other half and place on top
  10. Press edges of pastry/dough together and egg wash
  11. Cook for 40 mins

Darina notes that this would have originally been baked in  a bastible or pot beside an open fire (similar to a dutch oven).


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