French Apple Cake
When I was in college, I worked as an au pair in Paris for a summer. My host mother was a Pharmacist by day (we actually lived in an apartment right over the family pharmacy) but a bon vivant and gourmet cook by night. She was always entertaining, and would frequently enlist my help in the kitchen once the kids were in bed. I still have vivid memories of her crushing peppercorns with a frying pan and igniting cognac sauce for her steak au poivre, tending her roast leg of lamb in the oven while sipping wine, and peeling apples over a bowl for her delicious apple cake. She didn’t cook with recipes but this apple cake — made with chunks of sweet apples nestled in a tender, buttery rum cake — is pretty close to what I remember.
Begin with the simplest ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, sweet baking apples, vanilla, rum, eggs and salt.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time.
Mix in the vanilla extract and rum.
Slowly beat in the flour mixture.
Fold in the chopped apples.
Pour the batter into a cake pan and sprinkle with sugar. This makes a nice top crust.
Bake the cake until lightly golden. Serve warm, with or without lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
French Apple Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with knife
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling over cake
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 sweet baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (such as honeycrisp, fuji or golden delicious)
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform or regular cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
3. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffly, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla and rum. Don’t worry if the batter looks grainy. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in chopped apples.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Bake cake for about 40 minutes, or until cake is lightly golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool until just warm. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove sides of springform pan if using. Dust with Confectioners’ sugar if desired. Cake can be served warm or room temperature, with or without lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.Add your review or comment!