This comes from Zur Letzten Instanz, one of the oldest restaurants in Berlin, built right by the wall of the medieval city.
If you’re visiting Berlin, it’s something of a must. It is dark and many-roomed and you need to prepare for a huge intake of food. Not only is the Eisbein — fat-covered pork knuckle — the biggest I have ever seen, but even if you order something like liver you get a mountain of mashed potato alongside, and the Königsberger Klopse (veal and pork dumplings) were like cricket balls.
I loved it all, though how you could finish that pork knuckle I still don’t understand. But what I really loved was the apple cake afterwards. The Germans and Austrians, rather than dusting with icing sugar, sprinkle their cakes with demerara before cooking, which gives the cakes a lovely crunch.
Serves: 8 people
- 2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and cut into fine wedges
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 225g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 75ml whole milk
- 1½ tbsp demerara sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Whipped cream, to serve
01 Heat the oven to 150C (170C non-fan). Butter and line a 23cm-diameter cake tin.
02 Coat the apples in the lemon juice and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric beater until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking powder and ½ tsp salt. Mix until incorporated. Slowly add the milk, mixing well after each addition, until you have a smooth batter.
03 Transfer the batter to the cake tin. Arrange the apple wedges in a spiral over the batter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean and the top is golden.
04 Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes in the tin. Run a knife around the edges and turn out on to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.