French Apple Cake…

cake

I thought it might be time for a brief break from poetry and photography…

In the fall, I love baking with apples. In Canada, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and with company coming this year I was looking for a new recipe that isn’t too sweet and puts the emphasis on the apples.

I happened on a recipe for French Apple Cake that really appealed to me. I love simple, rustic French food, and not only did this recipe sound great but it looked easy, which is even more important, so I thought I’d give it a try.

This dessert has a custardy, apple-rich base beneath a light, cakelike topping. Cook’s Illustrated recommends microwaving the apples briefly to break the enzyme responsible for firming up pectin. I followed that suggestion and it worked really well.

This cake goes really well with a light dusting of powdered sugar, whipped cream, ice cream but it’s also lovely by itself — and tastes just as good the next day or the day after, in the unlikely event that anything is left.

If you like apples or French food — or both — you might want to give this a try!

slice-of-cake

French Apple Cake

1 ½pounds apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced ⅛ inch thick crosswise (about 4 to 5)
2-3 tablespoons rum (optional)
teaspoon lemon juice
cup (5 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
cup (7 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
large egg plus 2 large yolks
3/4 cup vegetable oil
cup whole milk
teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Serves 8 to 10

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Place prepared pan on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place apple slices into microwave-safe pie plate, cover, and microwave until apples are pliable and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Toss apple slices with rum and lemon juice and let cool for 15 minutes.

2. Whisk 1 cup flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk egg, oil, milk, and vanilla together in second bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Transfer 1 cup batter to separate bowl and set aside.

3. Add egg yolks to remaining batter and whisk to combine. Using spatula, gently fold in cooled apples. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly to pan edges, gently pressing on apples to create even, compact layer, and smooth surface.
4. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons flour into reserved batter. Pour over batter in pan and spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar evenly over cake.
5. Bake until center of cake is set, toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and top is golden brown, about 1 to 1¼ hours. Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of pan and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, then cut into wedges, and serve.
Note: The microwaved apples should be pliable but not completely soft when cooked. To test for doneness, take one apple slice and try to bend it. If it snaps in half, it’s too firm; microwave it for an additional 30 seconds and test again.
Adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe.

 

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18 thoughts on “French Apple Cake…

  1. not only are your photographs so professional but I am hooked by your description of this cake. As soon as you mentioned, “custardy” you had me. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us. I’m definitely going to make it!

  2. Sherry I love recipes for all the same reasons you do…but mostly for the ease of them…I also love anything French…so this is right up my alley…and you presented it so lovely…I’m going to try it also but I’m going to try a gluten free version so my son can enjoy it with us…we’ve all gotten very use to using gluten free flour here.. I’ll give you a report on how it came out…Thanks so much for sharing..

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