I almost made this custardy apple cake instead of an apple pie for our Thanksgiving feast. Then I realized that it was a better plan to make both! 😉 We enjoyed the cake on Thanksgiving Eve- perfect. I loved that this version incorporated browned butter.
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Erica Bruce. I modified the method and substituted apple cider for the brandy. I would recommend baking the cake the morning it will be served because it requires an extended cooling time prior to slicing and serving.
Yield: One 9-inch cake (about 8 to 10 servings)
- 8 T (1 stick) salted butter, plus more for pan
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 apples) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 pound (about 2 apples) Braeburn or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 156 g (12 T) white sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 2 T apple cider, brandy or Calvados
- 86 grams (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional
- Heat the oven to 375ºF, preferably on convection, with a rack in the middle position.
- Coat a 9-inch springform pan with butter, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess.
- In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, melt the butter. Cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the milk solids at the bottom are golden brown and the butter has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. (I used a 12-inch stainless steel all-in-one pan.)
- Pour into a small heatproof bowl without scraping out the skillet. The remaining butter in the pan is used to sauté the apples.
- Stir the allspice into the browned butter and set aside.
- Add all of the apples, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt to the still-hot skillet and set over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all moisture released by the apples has evaporated and the slices are beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add the apple cider (or brandy) and cook until evaporated, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Transfer to a large plate, spread in an even layer and refrigerate uncovered until cool to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and 9 tablespoons of the remaining sugar.
- Gradually whisk in the browned butter.
- Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth; the batter will be very thick.
- Add the cooled apples and fold until evenly coated with batter.
- Transfer to the prepared springform pan, spread in an even layer and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Place pan on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake until deeply browned, about 30 minutes on convection or up to 35 to 40 minutes in a standard oven.
- Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Run a knife around the inside of the pan and remove the sides before slicing.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Note: Don’t slice the cake until it has fully cooled; if it is at all warm, the texture at the center will be too soft.