Apples are synonymous with fall. Such a versatile fruit, it is only fitting that they are so celebrated every year. And it is only fitting that a bunch of us bloggers got together to throw an online apple party where we all share a recipe inspired by fall’s favorite fruit. My recipe contribution for the #aisforalltheapples party is a traditional milopita, also known as, Greek apple cake.
Milopita (pronounced: me-LOH-pee-tah) will forever remind me of my mother-in-law. It is the first Greek baked good of hers that I ever tried. Milopita is scented with cinnamon, clove & cardamom and chock full of apples for a cake that is quintessentially fall. My hubby is not the biggest fan of milopita, probably because there were times his mom’s version would not turn out quite right (sorry Manoula) and because he hates wasting food, he would still consume it “με το ζόρι” which basically means he would force himself out of obligation. If you are wondering, my mother-in-law would not take any of this personally, she gave up on baking when I married into the family, she figured why should she try anymore since I enjoyed baking so much more than she does?!
My hubby’s biggest issue with milopita is the size and texture of the apple chunks, they must be small enough to bake all the way through and be soft, no crunchy apple chunks for him! I have adapted my mother-in-laws recipe to include both grated and finely chopped apples so that there is just enough chunks of soft apples without having them overwhelm the cake. Another adaptation I made to her recipe was to arrange some thinly sliced apples on top of the cake, because, well, just seeing those apples on top sells you on this cake, am I right?!
My favorite adaptation for this milopita was to use olive oil for the fat. But not just any olive oil. I used a Greek extra virgin olive from an amazing family that bottles their oil under the name Oil Ladi. With olives grown from the Peloponnese region of Greece, the Oil Ladi family produces an incredible olive oil, produced with the utmost care. There is a major difference between the extra virgin olive oil we are familiar with here in the US and the olive oil that we consume when we are in Greece. The acidity level of Greek extra virgin olive oil is very, very low, giving it a gentle flavor that is almost buttery. The low acidity of Greek olive oil makes it especially great for sweet applications as there is no bitterness or peppery flavor whatsoever.
I honestly have to thank my close friend Jesse of Faring Well for introducing me to Oil Ladi. Jesse and her hubby were raving about this Greek olive oil from Oil Ladi and I knew immediately why when I tried it. My father-in-law always complains that the olive oil in America does not taste like the olive oil back home in Greece and he is right. But since trying Oil Ladi, we finally have a taste of home and the best part is that we can get it right to our doorstep here in California (thanks to it being available on Amazon ;)
Many of you may know that things are still extremely difficult in Greece, we don’t hear about it on mainstream media, but the struggle is still very real there. I have shared here on the blog how my hubby and I are working toward moving to Greece to make a difference, but in the mean time, I wanted to share a tangible way that people can help Greece while living here in America. When you buy Greek products you support the people of Greece who are working so hard to find a way to make ends meet in their homeland. If you happen to know anyone who lives in Greece, then you already know that so many people there are struggling with no end in sight and that looking for a way out of the country is the only option that makes sense for many of the people there. I think that it is safe to assume that the majority of us here in America consume olive oil, and since that is the case, I would urge you to consider supporting a Greek small family olive oil company like Oil Ladi, as it is a simple way to make a big difference. (*this content is not sponsored, I simply wanted to share a way that we can help the Greek people in their time of need)
As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait…and milopita is one of those things that gets better if you wait. It is difficult to resist the urge to eat a slice while it is still warm from the oven, but if you can stand to wait, the cake just gets better and better. We love to eat our milopita with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, which also makes it a balanced breakfast if you are into that kind of thing ;)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour or 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend ( I used Cup4Cup's Wholesome blend )
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg (sub 1 tbsp water + 2.5 tbsp flax meal if egg-free)
- 1 cup brown sugar (unrefined sugar works well here)
- 2/3 cup Oil Ladi extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup water or apple cider (whichever you have on hand)
- 1 cup peeled, grated apples (any variety will do, we used a blend of heirloom apples)
- 1 cup peeled, chopped apples
- 1 firm red apple, skin-on & thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp brown sugar for glazing sliced apples
- Preheat oven to 325F. Insert the base of a 8-in. springform pan lip-side down. Lightly rub with olive oil, then line with parchment. Set aside.
- Whisk flour with cinnamon, cardamom, clove, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk egg with brown sugar, 2/3 cup oil and water or cider in a large bowl.
- Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Stir in grated apples and then fold in chopped apples. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange overlapping apple slices around the top of the cake. Brush apple slices with olive oil and then sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Bake in center of oven until a tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about 45 min.
- Transfer to a rack to cool. Run a knife between the pan and the outer edge of the cake, then remove ring. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve with Greek yogurt or whipped cream.
- Keeps well at room temperature for up to 3 days.
A big thank you to bloggers Square Meal Round Table & What Annie’s Eating for organizing this apple recipe party! You can find more apple recipe inspiration by browsing #aisforalltheapples or by visiting some of these blogs:
Cloudy Kitchen: Salted Caramel Apple Babka
Square Meal Round Table: Chai Spiced Tarte Tatin
The Wood and Spoon: Maple Apple Cake
Feed the Swimmers: Apple Buckwheat Galette with Halva and Maple Tahini
More Icing Than Cake: Apple Butter Pretzels with Rosemary Cheddar Dip
This Mess Is Ours: Easy Baked Apple Custard
Cooking with Cocktail Rings: Apple Cheddar Hand Pies
Champagne & Cookies: Amagansett Apple Cheddar Galette
What Annie’s Eating: Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Asiago & Sage Croutons
Something New for Dinner: Savory Bread Pudding with Apples, Sausage & Pecans