French Apple Cake
One of the many things I love about Autumn are the varieties of apples that become available – so crisp and sweet, it almost seems a shame to cook them. But with the produce section of our market looking like an applepolooza, and despite my desire to eat them in their perfectly natural state, I thought an apple cake might be in order.
This recipe is from Dorie Greenspan, it is authentically French, rustic and wonderful. The addition of rum is vital to the flavour of the cake and aside from that it is almost entirely apple. Ensure you bake it to a golden brown so the apple pieces on the top are caramelized to perfection.
I love apples, I try to eat one every day and you should too. But if it is cake you are craving, this is the recipe for you. And just to let you know, the smell of it baking in your oven is just heaven!
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (113 grams/4 ounces)unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350f. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Pour the mix into the pan and even it out across the top.
Place in the oven and bake for around 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
Storing: The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, actually improves. It’s best not to cover it as it’s too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.
Source: Dorie Greenspan