Sunday, November 1, 2009
The Apple Lady Apple Cake
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely cake is a perfect way to finish a fall meal of soup or stew. The recipe comes from Patricia Wells who asked a vendor of her acquaintance for her favorite apple recipe. What she received was a homely recipe, typical of those that made French provincial cooking famous. I do love its name - gateau aux pommes de la reine des pommes. It has a certain ring to it, don't you think? My French is limited to what is required for survival in the kitchen or restaurant, so I've become inordinately fond of phrases that roll off the tongue as this one does. The funny thing is that the apple lady's dessert is more like a crustless pie than a cake. A mass of apples is held together in a scant amount of batter, allowing the flavor of the apples to dominate the dessert. While I use Golden Delicious apples, feel free to use any baking apple you like for the cake. It's simple to make but be sure to follow directions for baking. Some apples contain more moisture than others so cooking time is not a constant. The cake must be firm to the touch and a light brown before the topping is applied. While I prefer this cake served warm and eaten the day its made, many think it holds well and actually prefer it on day two. Here's the recipe.
The Apple Lady's Apple Cake ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Patricia Wells and the apple lady
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (regular table salt can be used)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup whole milk
Finely slivered zest of 1 scrubbed lemon
2 pounds (4 to 6) baking apple, cored, peeled,and cut into thin slices
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Finely slivered zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and set it aside.
2) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir to blend. Add vanilla extract, eggs, oil, milk and lemon zest; stir until well blended. Add apples and stir to coat them with batter.
3) Spoon the mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake in center of oven until fairly firm and golden, about 25 to 35 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, prepare topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, egg, melted butter and lemon zest and juice; stir to blend. Set aside.
5) Remove cake from oven and pour topping mixture over it. Return cake to oven and bake until top is a deep golden brown and cake feels quite firm when pressed with a fingertip, about 10 minutes.
6) Transfer cake pan to a rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the sides of pan, and release and remove springform ring, leaving the cake on the pan base. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings.
Recipe courtesy of Patricia Wells - The Paris Cookbook