I wanted to give you a recipe from Grande Livre de la France A Table, the book where I found the omelet recipe. As it’s fall I had in mind a dessert with apples and my favorite sinful treat: Speculoos spread. I scoured the book for an adaptable dessert-apple recipe. Normandy was the section where I thought I’d hit gold, apples from Normandy are famous, as is Calvados their apple-based liquor.
But the recipe I found and baked was a disaster. Such a disaster I threw the whole thing out before it was even done baking.
Therefore, I give you this Apple Cake recipe instead, borrowed from David Lebovitz who borrowed it from Dorie Greenspan. Does that mean it’s from Greenspan or Lebovitz?
Other modifications? The original recipe calls for vanilla extract and/or rum. I didn’t have any rum and I realized that I was out of vanilla extract when I started baking. As it was Sunday, there was no chance of running to the local corner store to buy more. Alas, France.
So I used one Bourbon Vanilla pod, seeds scraped out to make up for it.
The high butter/sugar to flour ratio in this cake batter makes it extremely moist – with the addition of the apples of course. Even after being baked there’s a soft, barely liquid texture.
Good? It was incredible. Decadent and sinful and simple all at once. When I saw this recipe, I hesitated, wanting something with more exciting flavors. But after baking and tasting, there is that old reminder: simple is often the most satisfying.
Horse tin is necessary at all times for a perfect cake.
I’m not one of those people who gets excited over apples. I like them, I’m often amazed by the different in varieties and consequently, tastes. Apples are almost as old as the grape when it comes to being spread and cultivated around the world, and originate from the same place – the Caucasus.
However, despite my love of the grape, I tend to overlook the apples in my fruit bowl.
This cake has converted me. If every apple recipe I baked turned out to be this light, sweet and tart, I would be as down trodden at the end of every winter as I am at the end of every summer.
It was so good I didn’t even miss the Speculoos spread.
- 110g flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 large apples (a mix of varieties), peeled, cored, cubed into 1 inch sections
- 90g dates, chopped and deseeded
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out
- 115 g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Butter a cake tin and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter. Once incorporated stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter. You should have a silky, smooth batter.
- Fold in the apple and dates until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.
- Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.