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“Jon was breaking his fast on applecakes and blood sausage when Samwell Tarly plopped himself down on the bench. ‘I’ve been summoned to the sept,’ Sam said in an excited whisper. ‘They're passing me out of training. I'm to be made a brother with the rest of you. Can you believe it?’” Game of Thrones
Medieval Applecake Recipe
Prep: 20 minutes dough rising: 1½ hours frying: 30 minutes
Pairs well with *Black pudding, *Cold Milk, and *Breakfast on The Wall
The clear predecessors of the modern doughnut, the medieval applecakes are fantastic. Called krapfen in Germany, these fluffy fried morsels are filled with nutty apple goodness.
- 1¼ cups warm milk
- 2½ tsp yeast (1 packet)
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 3-4 cups unsifted flour
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup butter
- Oil for frying
- 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 4 Tbs. honey
- 1 Tbs. powder forte
- 1 Tbs. cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped nuts- walnuts, pine nuts, and chestnuts are all lovely
Warm the milk slightly, and add the yeast before allowing to sit for 5 minutes. Add in the egg yolks, flour, salt, and butter. Mix thoroughly to combine into a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out this dough onto a floured countertop, and knead for several minutes, adding more flour if necessary. Allow the dough to rise under a clean dishcloth for around an hour.
In a medium saucepan, combine all the filling ingredients. Cook together over medium-low heat until the honey has been absorbed or cooked off. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
On the floured countertop, roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness, dividing dough in half if space is limited. Using a 2" round cutter, stamp out discs of dough, reserving the scraps to roll out again.
Using a pastry brush, or your fingers, wet each of the rounds with water. On half of the dough discs, place about 1 teaspoon of the filling, then place another disc on top. Press the edges together firmly to seal, and allow to rise for around 20 minutes.
Heat 1 inch of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Gently lower each cake into the hot oil with a slotted spoon. Fry until the dough is golden on both sides, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with a little powdered sugar if you like.
Modern Applecake Recipe
Makes 8 jumbo muffins
Prep: 15 minutes Baking: 30 minutes
Pairs well with *Breakfasts, *Helen Browning’s organic Speedy Sausages or Hot Dogs, and *Cold Milk
Essentially apple coffeecake muffins, the crunchiness of the crumble tops contrast with the softness of the cake itself. The apples melt as they bake, imbuing the cake with an incredible moistness and apple flavour.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
- 2-3 tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbs. cold butter
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture alternating with sour cream, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the apples. Fill cups of a greased jumbo muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full.
For topping, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in the nuts; sprinkle evenly over batter-filled cups, pressing gently to mix it with the cake. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.