You might know Jicama by its other names - Yam bean, Mexican Turnip or Mexican Potato and up until a couple of years ago, it wasn't grown commercially here in Australia.
Tastewise, it's a combination of mild apple and nashi flavours with water chestnut like crispness and they can be eaten raw or cooked.
Most commonly you'll see Jicama in a salad but I've decided to build upon those apple notes and crisp texture and combine them with apples to make an Apple and Jicama Cake, which is based on my mothers Italian Apple Cake.
As the jicama is crisp but not overly sweet, instead of using a cooking apple like Granny Smith, I've used Royal Gala, which are crisp and sweet and will hold their shape with cooking.
250 grams jicama, peeled, sliced finely
500 grams apples, peeled, cored, sliced finely
350 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
160 grams caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
120 grams butter, melted and cooled
½ cup milk, approx
Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Whisk the eggs and caster sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the vanilla, cooled, melted butter and sifted flour - whisk on a low speed until combined. Pour in the milk to form a spoonable batter - you may need to add more milk to get the right consistency.
Add in the sliced jicama and apples and on low speed, beat briefly (less than 10 seconds) until they just mix into the batter.
Dollop the batter into a cake tin - I used a lined, loose-based, high sided, 20cm square tin. Smooth the top with a palette knife and then sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
Bake in a pre-heated 170°C oven until golden and cooked through - about 60 to 75 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil and decrease the temperature to 160°C.
Once cooked, let it stand in the pan to cool before turning out onto a serving plate. Finish the cake with a dusting of icing sugar.
Perfect for an afternoon tea served with thickened cream.