Please don’t remind me I said this come January, but I’m maybe just a tiny bit sick of Summer. I know. Boos from the balcony and rotten tomatoes thrown at my head. The weather is beyond gorgeous. I love running out the door in nothing but a long dress and a brimmed hat, bathing the baby outside in her tub. It’s idyllic and I’m enjoying it much. But I love the Fall. It’s my very favorite. Crisp air, blazers and boots, wood burning stoves, colored leaves, my birthday and Halloween. The best. I don’t want to rush August out the door, but I am never sorry when we turn the calender to September and there’s that first day of school feeling in my bones. Apples mark the beginning of seasonal change; they are a harbinger of Autumn and all that it entails.
Those methodical smarties at Cook’s Illustrated have worked out all the kinks in this cake, so I didn’t muck with the recipe, much. They made theirs with Calvados, which I couldn’t (be bothered to) find. I did have an inch of Kraken rum leftover from this past weekend’s revelry, and that works just fine. Apples and rum makes for a very adventure on the high seas/plunder and pillage Barbados dessert – yo ho-ho, etc., but do use apple brandy if you’d like. I want to serve this for dessert with small cups of strong coffee spiked with a bit more booze. It would be lovely after a light meal of grilled fish and salad dressed with lemon and olive oil. A great late-Summer treat.
French Apple Cake
Adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated
- 1 1/2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon rum
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon, for dusting
Step 1: Adjust oven rack to lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil (spray). Place prepared pan on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Step 2: Place apple slices in a microwave-safe dish, cover and microwave until apples are pliable, about three minutes. Toss apples with lemon juice and rum and let cool whilst you prepare the cake batter.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl whisk one cup flour, one cup sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
Step 4: In another bowl whisk together egg, oil, milk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients until just combined. Transfer 1 cup of batter to a small bowl.
Step 5: Whisk egg yolks into remaining batter. Gently fold in cooled apples. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth surface.
Step 6: Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the reserved batter then pour over the top of cake. Sprinkle the surface of the cake with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
Step 7: Bake for one hour and fifteen minutes, until golden brown and set. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool, five minutes.
Step 8: Run a paring knife around the sides of the pan and remove from form. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, 2-3 hours. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.