Norwegian apple pie for birthday week ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

05 October 2012

Norwegian apple pie for birthday week


Birthday week continues apace. Tomorrow is John's birthday.

We don't usually do birthday cake at our house. Yes, even though John and I have birthdays three days apart, we can't be trusted to eat more than one slice apiece of a traditional befrostinged layer cake. On the few occasions we've tried, the leftover 7/8 of the cake slowly calcifies in the fridge until we throw it out. That's just depressing.

Now, if either of us could be bothered to make a fruit-filled dessert like apple pie, that would get eaten almost immediately. So I'm going to make Norwegian apple pie, aka eplepai.

This makes it sound like I'm making pie. Actually, this is a simple cake filled with chopped apples and almonds, baked in a pie pan. Why is it called apple pie in Norwegian? I have no idea. But I do know it's very good, super easy (unlike actual pie--I am bad at crusts), and only requires ingredients we normally have on hand. It doesn't suffer from over-richness or mountains of frosting. Besides, October is definitely apple season. Perfect.

This recipe comes from Beatrice Ojakangas's Great Scandinavian Baking Book, which is my mainstay for delightful baked goods. You know--even though we don't like normal frosted cake.

Norwegian apple pie eplepai

Norwegian Apple Pie, aka Eplepai

1 egg
3/4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup flour (I used wheat)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
3 medium tart apples

Preheat your oven to 350F/175C and grease a 9-inch pie pan.

Peel, core, and dice your apples. Chop up your almonds if they didn't come already chopped.

Norwegian apple pie batter

Now mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Since you're not adding much liquid at all, be prepared--your batter will be pretty thick and sticky.

Doesn't it look almost like a bowl of apples in caramel sauce?

Norwegian apple pie batter

Scoop your batter into the pie pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until lovely and golden brown. You can also do the toothpick test to ensure doneness.

That is it. Hooray! Zero effort; delicious pie. Cake. Pie cake.

We eat this totally plain--I know you're shocked, considering our lack of love for frosting--but it's also good with whipped cream or ice cream. Vanilla ice cream would clearly be good, but I can also see something in the butter pecan area working really well. If you're ambitious, you might even want to make a custard sauce and pour it over each serving. If you're feeling lazy, that's cool too--just eat it plain, or dust the top with powdered sugar. Everyone wins!

What tasty treats do you guys make for birthdays?


Stacy G. said...

I love apple cakes! So much better than non-fruity cakes, in my opinion.

Caz said...

My husband Darren's birthday is 5 days before mine so we share a birthday week too! Fruit filled cakes are my favourite, I love how densely packed with apples this cake is. Enjoy your week :)

Catherine said...

I've made plenty of birthday pies in years past - I think this past April, my John got a lemon tart? My favorite birthday treat is carrot cake, though! Yum.

adriennefriend said...

This sounds so good - thanks for sharing the recipe. I have a lot of apples right now because I work for a CSA and she's super excited about getting the ONLY organic apples in all of Georgia for our clients. (There's apparently only one farm doing certified organic - wow.) But the truth is, I don't really like apples. Anyway. I'm excited about this recipe because it looks easy and quick. Won't use the egg, though! Probably just sub for a flax egg.

Jes said...

You & John sound just like us--I love making desserts but neither of us have a sweet tooth so they just go t waste. That apple cake looks incredible--I love how easy it is.

rcakewalk said...

I make a cake (pie cake) very similar to this - but I never bother to peel the fruit. Sometimes I use pears too. It's always great! Interesting to know that it may be Norwegian in roots, as well...

Thanh @ eat, little bird said...

This sounds like a really lovely and easy apple pie/cake. I love all desserts from Scandinavia and I'm sure this Norwegian cake tastes delicious.

Joanne said...

Birthday pie sounds like a delicious substitution for cake...especially given how wonderful apples are right now! This sounds delicious!