Irish Apple Cake Topped with an Irish Whiskey Custard

03.09.18 - BY Nona Raybern

Desserts aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of traditional Irish food. But this hearty Irish Apple Cake with a velvet custard sauce should be added to the list.

An Irish friend once told me that the Irish love a good bit of hardship (ask any Irish person you come across how they feel about a good, hard towel and you’ll learn). So when I asked for some traditional dessert recipes, I got a long little message back about traditional foods, but no real desserts. Then I came across this Irish Apple Cake.

The apple cake in this recipe is dense and most of the moisture comes from the apples. There’s a bit of milk, a small amount of butter, and two eggs, but nothing fancy. And it’s the simplicity of this gorgeous biscuit-like cake that gives it its appeal. Top that with a vanilla custard sauce spiked with some Irish whiskey and you’ve got a perfect dessert. Just try to not drink all the custard before the cake is done baking!

First off, sift all the dry ingredients together. Add the sugar. Then, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it’s about pea-sized crumbles. Use a pastry blender like the Endurance® Blade Style Pastry Blender for quick work.

Whisk together the milk and eggs. Chop your apple easily with the Jumbo Apple Slicer and Corer.

Add the apples and egg mixture to the flour and stir. Keep mixing until you incorporate the flour completely.

Add the dough to a greased and floured springform pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top reaches a golden brown.

While the cake is baking, make your custard. Don’t let custard scare you! People always talk about scalding the milk or accidentally scrambling the eggs, but if you pay careful attention, custard is the most easy and delicious dessert. Beat the eggs and sugar until they reach a nice pale yellow, then slowly whisk in hot milk brought to an almost boil over medium high heat. Don’t use an electric mixer for these parts and stick with a hand whisk (also, because it’s a bit of hardship).

After whisking the eggs and milk together, return to the stove and cook over medium heat until the custard thickens. Add the vanilla and whiskey,then serve on top of the cake!

The sauce brings an excellent sweetness to the cake (and a good bit of kick with that Jameson). 10/10, we highly recommend this recipe for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Irish Apple Cake with Irish Whiskey Custard

Get ready for St. Patrick's Day by making this Irish Apple Cake with a Whiskey Custard the center of your table. 

Course

Dessert
Cuisine

Irish

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings 10 people

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 3
    Cups
    Flour
  • 2
    Tsp
    Baking powder
  • 1/8
    Tsp
    Salt
  • 1/4
    Tsp
    Cloves, ground
  • 1/4
    Tsp
    Nutmeg, ground
  • 6
    Oz.
    Butter, cold
  • 3/4
    Cup
    Sugar
  • 4
    Large
    Granny Smith apples, chopped 1/4" thick
  • 2
    Eggs
  • 3/4
    Cup
    Whole Milk
  • 2
    Tbs
    Sugar to sprinkle on top

For the Custard

  • 6
    Large
    Egg yolks
  • 6
    Tbs
    Sugar
  • 1
    Cup
    Whole Milk
  • 2
    Tsp
    Vanilla
  • 2
    Oz.
    Irish Whiskey

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Grease and flour a 9" springform pan (8" will just give you a higher cake, no need to adjust time baking). Preheat the oven to 375°F. 

    Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, and nutmeg together into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry blender or fork, until finely crumbled. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. 

    Peel the apples and slice them into uniform pieces. An apple corer/slicer will help. The chunks should be about 1/4" thick. Add the apples into the flour mixture and toss together. 

    In a separate bowl. whisk together the eggs and milk. Add to the flour/apple mixture and combine until flour is fully incorporated. 

    Transfer dough into the pan and press down with the back of the spatula until cake is level. Sprinkle with sugar across the top. 

    Bake for 45-50 minutes. Top of the cake should be a golden, crisp brown.

For the custard

  1. Place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk, about 2-3 minutes, until reaches a pale yellow color. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until just reaches a boil. Slowly whisk the milk into the sugar/egg mixture. Transfer mixture back to saucepan and stir over medium heat until custard thickens. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla and whiskey. 

    The custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but not so thick as pudding. Serve warm or cold. 

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen McCabe.