Freshly Picked Apple Cake | October 13, 2016

Apple picking is fun. Last week my friend Anne and I traveled an hour and a half north of Seattle to a lovely farm outside of Bellingham, WA. BelleWoods Farm has a little bit of everything: apples, pumpkins, a café, a bakery, ice cream, AND a distillery! Please know I take my research for this blog seriously and made sure I tasted everything from the apple strudel to the Honeycrisp apple vodka. Oh yea!

The apple trees were lousy with apples. I was blown away but how big and heavy these apples were weighing down the tree branches. They were flawless!  I have never had better apples – never! They were crunchy, sweet, perfect texture – not mealy at all. I picked ten pounds and should have picked ten more. I immediately went home and made Bill’s Apple Cookies.

I have been enjoying the apples completely on their own but trying to eat ten pounds of very large apples in a reasonable amount of time is a little challenging. When in doubt – bake! I made apple cake.

This apple cake is one of the simplest, most delicious cakes I have eaten in recent history. It was so basic in its flavor. The apples were tender but not mushy. It was scented with just a touch of vanilla. It was 75% apples and 25% cake which make it kind of custard-y.  Just make it because words don’t do this cake justice. It was just as good the next morning for breakfast – again with my tireless blog research – as it was with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as it was barely cooled. This will absolutely be a go-to recipe for me. This recipe uses one bowl and it came together in about 5 minutes. It takes about 50 minutes in the oven but then it is ready just in time for dessert. The recipe is from epicurious.com which pretty much guarantees you a good outcome.

APPLE CAKE

YIELDS 8  |  PREP TIME  1 hour  |  PRINT PDF

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (I used 4 large Honey Crisp)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum ( I skipped the rum and used 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

DIRECTIONS

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 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.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.

Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. 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. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 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.

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.) 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.

Serving
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.

Storing
The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to my husband, gets more comforting with each passing day. However long you keep the cake, it’s best not to cover it – it’s too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.