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.
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.
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.