French Apple Cake

I’ve had baking a French Apple Cake on my bucket list for a long time. A celebratory Valentine’s Day dessert was my excuse! ❤ This version was custardy and absolutely wonderful. We ate it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream but it could also served with a dollop of softly whipped cream.

This recipe was adapted from Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhotse, a top editor of Louis Vuitton City Guides (and a restaurant critic for the Paris edition), published in Around my French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, via Epicurious.com.

Greenspan emphasized the importance of using diverse fruit in the cake to include crisp, soft, sweet, and tart apples for the best result. I used a combination of Fuji, Granny Smith, Envy, and Opal apples. I also increased the vanilla, and substituted apple cider for the rum. Delicious!

Yield: Serves 8

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum or fresh apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • whipped cream of ice cream, for serving
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection.
  2. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  4. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy.
  6. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend.
  7. Whisk in the rum/apple cider and vanilla.
  8. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter.
  9. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter.
  10. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.
  11. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.)
  13. Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the 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 dish.
  14. To Serve: The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène’s served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.

Note: The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature. (The flavor may even improve with time!) The cake is too moist to cover completely; leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Jacques Pepin’s Plum Galette

IMG_0141

Galettes have the most fabulous presentation- and simple preparation. The best combination! 🙂 This buttery and flaky crust can be made in minutes, and this tart can be made with any seasonal fruit. It was amazing with a combination of red and black plums. This recipe was adapted from a staff-favorite Food and Wine recipe, contributed by Jacques Pépin.

I’m bringing it to my favorite weekly blog party, Fiesta Friday #33, at The Novice Gardener this week. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 8

IMG_0100

For the Pate Brisee:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup ice water

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 pounds large plums—halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (I used a combination of red & black plums)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • 1/2 cup good-quality plum, apricot or raspberry preserves, strained if chunky or seedy
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  1. Make the Pate Brisee: Put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process for 5 seconds; the butter should still be in pieces. Add the ice water and process for 5 seconds longer, just until the dough comes together; the butter should still be visible.
  2. Remove the dough from the processor and gather it into a ball. On a lightly floured surface or plastic wrap, roll out the dough into a 16-by-18-inch oval 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a large, heavy baking sheet (I used a very large cutting board.). Chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°(convection).
  3. Transfer the chilled dough onto a large piece of parchment paper.
  4. Make the Filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the ground almonds and flour. Spread this mixture evenly over the dough to within 2 inches of the edge. Arrange the plum wedges on top in a circular pattern and dot with the butter. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the fruit. Fold the edge of the dough up over the plums to create a 2-inch border. (If the dough feels cold and firm, wait for a few minutes until it softens to prevent it from cracking.) Sprinkle the border with the teaspoon of turbinado sugar.
  5. Transfer the tart, on the parchment paper, to a large, rimmed baking sheet. (I used a pizza peel for the transfer.)
  6. Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes (on convection) or up to 1 hour in a standard oven, until the fruit is very soft and the crust is richly browned. If any juices have leaked onto the baking sheet, slide a knife under the galette to release it from the sheet. Evenly brush the preserves over the hot fruit; brush some up onto the crust, too, if desired. Let the galette cool to room temperature before serving.

IMG_0138
One Year Ago:

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,327 other followers

Recipe Categories

my foodgawker gallery
my photos on tastespotting

Top Posts & Pages

Summer Bucatini with Buttery Zucchini Sauce
Ravneet Gill's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Churro Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
One-Pot Crispy Gnocchi with Burst Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella
Ina Garten's Caramelized Onion, Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts
Bread Machine Brioche
Rick Bayless' Classic Mexican Fried Beans with Onions & Garlic
Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing
Ottolenghi's Zucchini "Baba Ghanoush"
Chicken Stew with Biscuits
Foodista Food Blog of the Day Badge
%d bloggers like this: