Saffron Apple Cake with Custard


  • Few strands of saffron
  • 6 large Granny Smith Apples
  • 15ml lemon juice,
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 225g butter
  • 225g sugar
  • 30ml ground almonds or coconut flour
  • 370g cake flour
  • 185ml full cream milk, room temperature
  • 15ml baking powder
  • 5ml vanilla paste or essence
  • 5ml cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 30ml sugar
  • Icing sugar, to dust cake
  • French Style Custard
    • 250ml fresh crème (cream)
    • 5ml vanilla paste
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 70ml sugar


  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degree Celsius.
  2. Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottomed cake tin.
  3. Heat the saffron strands in a dry pan for 30 seconds or microwave for 10 seconds.
  4. Leave the saffron to cool and then crush lightly with your fingertips.
  5. Peel and core the apples.
  6. Cut the apples in half and slice thinly.
  7. Lightly toss in the lemon juice to prevent the apples from discolouration.
  8.  Beat the egg whites until foamy and gradually add 15ml of from the 225g of weighed sugar until stiff.
  9. Cream the butter until light in colour and gradually add the sugar.
  10. Continue beating until light and fluffy.
  11. Add the egg yolks with a teaspoon of flour and beat for a few seconds Add the almond or coconut flour.
  12. Gradually add the flour alternating with milk.
  13. Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, crushed saffron and salt.
  14. Beat well until the batter is smooth.
  15. Lastly fold in half the stiffly beaten egg whites to ‘loosen’ the batter.
  16. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
  17. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth with a spatula.
  18. Arrange the apples starting out at the centre and angling each piece working in an outward concentric pattern so its starts to look like a flower.
  19. Use the smaller pieces to fill in the gaps – do not press the apple slices deep into the pastry. It should have a raised appearance.
  20. Sprinkle 30ml sugar over the apples and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and shrinks away from the side of the tin.
  21. Leave to cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.
  22. Serve with home made custard.
  23. French Style Custard
    1. Heat the cream with vanilla paste, stirring continuously to prevent it from scorching.
    2. Once the cream comes to the boil, place the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl.
    3. Mix the egg yolks and sugar into a paste and pour the hot cream over – this is an important step, do not add the eggs into the hot cream as this will cause the eggs to scramble.
    4. Whisk the mixture and pour back into the pot.
    5. Place the pot back on low heat and whisk continuously until the custard thickens.
    6. Remove from the heat.
    7. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
    8. Serve drizzled over the sliced saffron apple cake.