I was introduced to David Lebovitz by Agnes.
But then, we never really got started on his recipes. Many that we have bookmarked. Either we have butter but no whip cream, and we may have fresh vanilla but no butter.
A week ago, Coco called us and declared that David’s French Apple Cake is a must try. She baked it one evening with Mitch, and it was awesome. This couple ate half and decided to reciprocate the other half to their kind neighbour. None for us.
Agnes kept reminding me that we MUST bake this cake. Suddenly 2 afternoons back, I got an SMS from Agnes that she has gotten a variety of apples and I was supposed to get butter and other baking stuff. Message was clear, we are baking this simple but tasty cake.
3/4 cup (110g) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples (a mix of varieties)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum – we could find any and omitted it
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.
2. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.
5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter
6. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.
7. Fold in the apple cubes 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.
8. Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.
It was actually quite simple. No need for Kitchen Aid whatever, just a hand whisk and a deep stainless steel bowl.
This French Apple Cake is so simple that I decided to teach Min, my niece the step by step how to do it. Although they were in a hurry to get back home to Malacca, I managed to convince Min that I would be good to pick up on a simple apple cake/pie recipe and handy for potlucks and home parties.
Whisking can be a social activity. Firstly, I showed Min how to whisk the eggs till foamy and to gradually add in the sugar. Continue whisking. Now that you have sugar inside, the batter is heavier to whisk. Hence, we invited Min’s mom, my adopted sister to help out. She gladly welcomed the invitation to be inside my photography too.
I am thankful that I have my maid with me in the kitchen. Baking becomes a joy, no worries of washing and cleaning up the mess after. Besides, she can be handy to do the not so “glamorous” tasks, like peeling, coring and dicing the apples.
I loved these organic orange coloured yolks that Edward bought for me. Momsie and I have been complaining the low quality eggs we are buying off shelves. Pale and anaemic; not great for kaya and butter cakes.
The recipe asked for dark rum and the nearest I could find in Stevie’s liquor collection is this Barcadi, and it truly adds flavour to the cake.
We have only a very small oven in Sungai Long, temperature control is a bit of a problem because the heating device on top and bottom are very close to the cake. I didn’t want the cake to be overbaked or burn. I turned the temperature down to 160C and put a strip of foil to cover from the 40 minute onwards. We baked this cake for 50 mins but I think I could leave it there for another 10 more.
Min is happy with the outcome and has accepted the tips of leaving the cake a little longer. Our cake is moist and delicious. So I guessed, it is a matter of choice if you want it drier to bite.
I am glad that I am home for the weekend. There is so much to catch up with my little sister, Lee Lee.
The French Apple Cake doesn’t taste like a cake, doesn’t taste like an apple pie, so it is an interesting recipe. I am not a big fan of cinnamon and totally a fan of this recipe. To me, it is a very simple and delicious apple pie/cake. So delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Just before they left for Malacca, Min and I ran through the recipe again. I am sure she is going to attempt this soon. You should, and I bet you will not regret a bit.