The Letter X is for: X-cellent Danish Æblekage (Danish Apple Cake)

This is the good way to use windfall apples, an excess of breadcrumbs, or leftover stale bread. Æblekage is applesauce spooned between layers of lightly sweetened, crunchy breadcrumbs and then just before serving (at room temperature or chilled) topped with a dollop of crème fraiche or whipped cream. There are several version of Æblekage, and every Dane has their own version of it. This version contains sugar but for a sugar-free version replace the 30g sugar with 1 tablespoon Splenda granular sweetener. Sweetness is strictly personal taste; I love it tart. Adjust the sugar to suit your taste. I also leave the apple peel on for a rich red colour, assuming that your apples are red-skinned. If the skins are tough, remove them.

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Serves 2

For the Breadcrumbs:
50-60 grams fresh breadcrumbs
50 grams unsalted butter or low-fat margarine
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Demerara, brown sugar or caster sugar (or 1/4 t Splenda)
a handful chopped hazelnuts

For the Applesauce:
30 grams caster sugar (or 1 tablespoon Splenda)
4-5 large eating apples (or 500 grams after prep), cored and chopped into small uniform chunks
juice of 1 large lemon and its zest
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Breadcrumbs: Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over low heat, and then add the breadcrumbs. Toss lightly in the butter to cover and then fry gently until just turning golden brown. Add the sugar and continue to cook for another minute or two. Do not add Splenda now – add it at the end of the cooking process with the nuts. Watch the breadcrumbs carefully at this stage as they tend to scorch with the added sugar. In total, cook gently for about 6-8 minutes or until it’s dark golden. Add the chopped nuts, fry for one minute more and then transfer into a bowl.

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Applesauce: Peel (if you wish), core and dice the apples into uniform small cubes. Zest the lemon and then juice it directly into a small pan with the zest.
Mix and toss the lemon juice with the apples. Add the nutmeg, stir. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat, breaking up the apples with the back of a spoon. Add the sugar and stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved. Taste and adjust sugar if required.

Create Layers in Parfait Glasses or Clear Bowl: Repeat layers of applesauce and breadcrumb mixture until you’ve filled two parfait glasses to the top or a clear glass bowl. The bottom and last (top) layer should be breadcrumbs. Just before serving add some crème fraiche or whipped cream.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanna says:

    This sounds so Danish, almost as Danish as that red fruit and whipped cream thing that I can’t say. Beautiful photos. And the apples are fallilng and I carry them off to the kitchen, fighting off the evil slugs who appear from nowhere to feast on them… It’s sort of like apple crumble except much lighter isn’t it? and far prettier to look at 😀

  2. teawithhazel says:

    the pink apples and crumb layer are so pretty in the’s great to learn new recipes from a different culture..we have a really varied population in australia so that many cuisines are now mainstream but i have had almost no exposure to danish food..i’m looking forward to learning more about the cuisine of your heritage..

  3. Misk Cooks says:

    Joanna and Jane, this recipe needs a huge amount of tweaking. I’m going back to mother-in-law for help on this one. Far too many bread crumbs. Ridiculously so.

    Sorry! 😦

  4. heidi says:

    Tweak away- this looks fantastic and I’m going to make some soon!
    I’ve wanted a nice light apple dessert- my husband doesn’t like apple pie- but this looks like it might fit his after dinner fancy!
    This has been a great series- and I’m glad to have met you through it!
    Your blog is fun and filled with good sense and humor- I’ll be back!

    1. MiskMask says:

      If you make this, reduce the crumbs by half and double the amount of apple. In my opinion, as the recipe stands at the moment, it’s like eating apple-flavoured crunchy bread crumbs. My husband and I both burst out laughing. Keep the layer of crumbs very thin, and the apple as thick as possible. I’ll try to get at tweaking this in late September. I’m away for most of September, and positively, absolutely not online. 😀 Roll on hols!

      And finally, I’m very, very happy to have met you also, and look forward to reading your blog posts also.

  5. lisbet diemer says:

    well well… I do as I was told, take my big iron roasting pot, and use a lot of butter, loads of white sugar and any amount of bread crumbs to go with it, then I turn, and turn it around in the pot so as not to burn, but to kind of caramelize the breadcrumbs, when that has been done, you will never have to many. It takes a long time, as caramelizing anything does, but with cold whipped cream on top of your æblekage, blir det ikke mere dansk end rødgrød med fløde, but my grandmother always topped the cream with dollops of red current gele or appel gele… love from lisbet in copenhagen

  6. lisbet diemer says:

    PS.: no appelskins, ever !!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Peder compared by version of Danish Æblekage to chewing your way through The Sunday Times … and not the online version. He thought I over-did the bread crumbs, and his mother agreed. Personally, I love caramelised breadcrumbs, and with whipped cream — oooooh lovely. But I revised the recipe so that it’s more Fynsk-like, which is heavy on the apple and light on the crumbs. Oh, and we remove the apple skins if they are thick or icky, otherwise the stay for added fibre which lowers the GI number for Peder’s diabetes. Dessert for him is a tricky matter.

      I’ll pass happily on rødgrød med fløde as it’s not my favourite. It’s the texture. It’s like eaten sweeten snot. (gag)

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