I have seen this cake floating around the blogosphere for weeks and was lucky enough to decide to try it out when it first came out. And I have to tell you, this cake, and this cake alone, made me add Around My French Table to my Amazon wishlist. It's simple, easy to make, and delicious. The rum adds a certain je ne sais quois to the overall flavor, but the apples are the stars of the cake. And because there's so many apples, it has to be healthy for you, right?
The recipe calls for you to use several different kinds of apples. I'm sure it's great that way, but I'm lazy and have used whatever kind of apple I have laying around--usually the ones that were on sale. Maybe some day I'll get around to buying four different kinds, but I don't usually plan ahead in my baking that well. I also added a sprinkling of turbinado sugar (larger grained brown sugar) to the top for a nice sparkle and crunch. (I try to add sparkle to anything I can since my four year old is into sparkly things these days.) :-)
The result is a rich, flavorful and impressive cake that everyone will love!
Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake
from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (Dorie suggests you use four different kinds, but this recipe is forgiving.)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and center a rack in the oven. Butter an 8-inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform pan on it.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a 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 foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, when it’s incorporated, add half of the melted butter, followed by the remaining flour mixture and butter. Mix in between additions so you have a smooth, thick batter.
Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread with spatula so the batter is somewhat even.
Slide the pan in the oven and bake 50-60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for five minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove from the pan. Cool cake until slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the pan, wait until the cake is completely cooled. Slide a long spatula between the cake and 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 platter.
**Can be served with lightly-sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. (We prefer it without.)
**This cake is very moist, so when storing it, store at room temperature (for up to two days). Don't cover--just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut sides.