Sunday, October 9, 2011

French Apple Cake

Friday evening was my turn to host book club. We are a small group of six ladies who enjoy reading, wine, good food, and conversation. The book we discussed was The House at Riverton by Kate Mortan. The book received a thumbs up rating.

On this particular night I decided I wanted to create foods that went with the cool fall weather. I am NOT a cook. I leave that to my chef of a husband. My husband made a delicious black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream to top. We served French bread to dunk in the soup. That's my favorite way to eat it. Can't get enough of the old carbohydrates. He also made chutney to serve with another French bread that had several different kinds of seeds in it. We also served brie with sliced pears and a fresh fruit platter with melon, grapes, pineapple, and oranges on it. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of the table with the delicious food.

What was my part in the preparation? I love to bake. I wanted something fall-ish. I found an incredible recipe at a blog I now follow called david lebovitz living the sweet life in Paris. He adapted the recipe from a book by Dorie Greenspan called Around My French Table. The girls absolutely loved this cake. Even my picky husband said it was a keeper. Here's the recipe.

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples ( a mix of varieties)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum (double the vanilla if you don't want to use rum)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature

One 8-or 9-inch springform cake pan

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.

2) Heavily butter the springform pan and place it on a baking sheet (I place the baking sheet on the shelf below to catch any drips.)

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

4) Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch pieces, or slice them thin and layer them like a tart.

5) In a alrge bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then the rum, and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter.

6)Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.

7) Fold in the apple cubes or slices until they are well coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared pan and smooth the top a little with the spatula.

8) Bake the cake for 50 minutes 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 on it.

Pictured with brown sugar topping.

Serving: Serve wedges of the cake just by itself, or with heavy cream or ice cream.

I found an optional topping for the cake.

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1) In a small bowl, combine the sugar, egg, and melted butter and stir to blend.

2) Remove the cake from the oven. Pout the topping mixture over the cake and sprinkle with walnuts.

3) Return to the oven and bake until the top is a deep golden brown and the cake feels quite firm, about 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure the brown sugar is not burning.

Happy Baking!

1 comment:

  1. ahhhh!!! we were hoping this was you :) Hope all is well...that cake - rather the whole meal - sounds delicious! I have that cookbook...couldn't help picking it up - I will have to try this recipe - it looks wonderful. Hoping to see you soon as well - take care!!