French Apple Cake with Brown Butter

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
  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF, preferably on convection, with a rack in the middle position.
  2. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with butter, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess.
  3. 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.)
  4. Pour into a small heatproof bowl without scraping out the skillet. The remaining butter in the pan is used to sauté the apples.
  5. Stir the allspice into the browned butter and set aside.
  6. 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.
  7. Add the apple cider (or brandy) and cook until evaporated, 30 to 60 seconds.
  8. Transfer to a large plate, spread in an even layer and refrigerate uncovered until cool to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  10. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and 9 tablespoons of the remaining sugar.
  11. Gradually whisk in the browned butter.
  12. Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth; the batter will be very thick.
  13. Add the cooled apples and fold until evenly coated with batter.
  14. 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.
  15. Bake until deeply browned, about 30 minutes on convection or up to 35 to 40 minutes in a standard oven.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.

Almond-Crusted Pork Scallopini with Apples & Arugula

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I rarely get a chance to watch “The Chew”- thankfully for everyone I caught this episode while obsessively cleaning my house before my in-laws came to visit! 🙂 Mario Batali made this delicious dish before my very eyes and I knew it would be perfect to serve to our guests. It had a wonderful combination of flavors: the spicy wild arugula, almond-crusted pork, and bourbon-flambed tart apples. I adapted the recipe by adding extra garlic and arugula (tons!) and by substituting bourbon for brandy. Perfect for a special dinner. Delicious!!

I know that I’m super late… but I am going to share this special dish with my blog friends at The Novice Gardener this week for Fiesta Friday #34– Happy Fiesta Friday-Saturday!?!? Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork tenderloin, 2 tenderloins, cut into medallions and pounded thin
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tart apples, peeled & thinly sliced (I used 2 Granny Smith’s and 1 Pink Lady)
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 ounces brandy or bourbon
  • 4-8 cups arugula, chopped if leaves are large (I used wild baby arugula)
  1. Season the pork with salt. Place the almond flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dredge the pork in the almond flour, allowing excess to fall off.
  3. Heat a large pan with 1/4 inch of Olive Oil over medium-low. Place a few coated pieces of pork into the hot oil and cook until golden, then flip and cook until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a second skillet over medium-high with a few tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and cook until light golden, and then add the apples. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly grated nutmeg.
  5. Once the apples take on a bit of color, pour in the brandy or bourbon and carefully ignite with a match or long-stick lighter. Cook until the flames subside.
  6. Serve the scallopini over the arugula topped with the apples, with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

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