Crops within the umbelliferae household are simple to identify. They appear to be umbrellas, or parasols, with straight stems that, at a sure level, break up into spokes that maintain a lacy blossom cap. Figuring out which member of the household you’ve noticed is one other matter for many. It might be carrot, parsnip, celery, anise, coriander, cumin, fennel, parsley, dill, lovage, chervil, angelica or caraway, all of which have numerous wild and cultivated varieties, some small, some gigantic. Final summer time, a pal’s chervil was knee-high, whereas in Sicily we noticed false fennel that might have been a parasol for a large’s wedding ceremony. The lacy cap is also poison hemlock, AKA poison parsley or satan’s bread, which is why selecting feathery leaves or pulling roots of unidentified umbelliferae just isn’t advisable.
The tiny blossoms on that lacy cap bloom earlier than they shrivel, leaving a tiny fruit, at which level the umbrellas are much less Victorian girls’ and extra 70s rattan furnishings: spokes topped with beads. Within the case of caraway, the fruit dries from golden yellow to a heat, brown crescent with 5 ridges – so, whereas we are saying caraway seeds, they’re truly tiny seeded fruits. They’ve a fancy flavour: aniseed, sure, one thing of cumin and pepper, too, and likewise wooden with a little bit of resin, which makes them heat and candy. And generously good, roaming far and huge within the kitchen, in rye bread and buns, and with pork, duck, lentils, cabbage, cheese, eggs and apples. Writing all it is a bit disingenuous; I’m making myself out to be a continuing caraway consumer, when in actuality the jar of caraway will get pushed to the again of the cabinet as containers of enjoyable tea are added to it.
Or was. Thanks, Irina Georgescu, in your spectacular and engaging e book of Romanian and jap European baking, Tava, and particularly in your apple and caraway cake, which has introduced the caraway jar not simply to the entrance of the cabinet, however out of it and on to the worktop subsequent to the jar of dried pink chillies. Apple and caraway is my new “coat-on” cake. That’s, the one I begin making as quickly as I get by means of the entrance door, turning on the oven and fetching the butter even earlier than I take off my coat, after which, as soon as I’ve, it comes collectively rapidly. Though that’s disingenuous, too, as a result of I work from home, so what I imply by coat-on cake is the one I make on a regular basis, that comes collectively simply with substances I at all times have. The cake might be made whereas I brew a cup of tea, appears impervious to my temper swings and is fixed. It smells like heaven, and tastes prefer it, too.
There’s good cake right here for a household of two; any extra, and there’s a good likelihood you’ll argue over the ends, which, due to the butter, grated apple and lengthy baking, are agency and crisp. The grated apple additionally offers the cake a mushy texture, whereas the caraway seeds are flecks of heat, additionally good for digestion, which means this cake is a licensed tonic. I extremely suggest making it.
Irina Georgescu’s apple and caraway loaf cake
Prep 5 min
Prepare dinner 50 min
150g butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
2 giant eggs
200g apples (to yield about 150g grated apple)
1 tbsp toasted caraway seeds
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Warmth the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gasoline 4 and grease and line a 10cm x 21cm loaf tin with baking paper.
In a big bowl, beat the butter and sugar till pale and light-weight. Beat within the eggs one after the other, then grate the unpeeled apple instantly into the bowl, discarding the core (s). Stir within the caraway seeds, flour and baking powder, and beat effectively.
Scrape the combination into the lined tin and bake on a tray in the midst of the oven for 50 minutes, till golden and a strand of spaghetti comes out clear. Control it, although: if the cake appears to be browning too rapidly, cowl flippantly with foil. Go away to chill fully earlier than eradicating from its tin.