Thursday, July 11, 2013

French Apple Cake

I know I’ve made apple cake on several occasions, but this one is different. It is absolutely nothing like the thick, heavy spiced apple cake I’ve mentioned, and it isn’t quite like Bubbie Gilda’s apple cake nor is it like apple tart cake. The batter is light, and there is almost less of it than there are apples, making the cake very moist. You also have to make sure to use the rum, which is essential to the taste here. I’ve had cake like this before, and the name “French apple cake” really seems like the perfect description. As it the case with many recipes meant for the home cook, it is a homely-looking dessert, but don’t let that deter you. The recipe is from David Lebovitz’s blog, and he adapted it from a Dorie Greenspan recipe. Since a mix of apples is recommended, I used 2 Granny Smith apples and 2 Jazz apples, and I give this cake 2 thumbs up.

¾ cup (110 g.) flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples (a mix of varieties; see note above)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup (150 g.) sugar
3 Tbsp. dark rum
½ tsp. vanilla extract
8 Tbsp. (½ cup or 1 stick) butter or margarine, melted and cooled to room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 °F and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) springform pan and place it on a baking sheet. (I used a 9-inch pan.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch (3-cm) pieces.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.

Fold in the apple cubes until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.

Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.

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