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Recipe: French Apple Cake

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This is a cake that my mother came across years ago and we’ve enjoyed it ever since. If you’ve ever had a French Apple Tart (Tarte Aux Pommes), this cake will definitely remind you of that. The cake consists mostly of thinly sliced apples (there is very little cake batter) with the delicate flavors of almond and vanilla. It feels light and decadent at the same time and is the perfect dessert to enjoy after a big meal. Which is precisely why I like to make it around the holidays (although, truly, it’s perfect at any time!)

When my mother learned of this recipe, she learned the story that went with it:

Many years ago, there was a lady who walked around the streets of Paris selling this cake. She had a little cart full of cakes and became known as the “Apple Lady.” The cakes became popular and many people tried to convince her to turn it into a business, but she chose not to, as she believed that this would take the pleasure out of baking them. The Apple Lady continued to sell the cakes in this modest way and, before her death, shared her recipe with a few trusted friends. Who shared it with others. Who shared it with others…you know how it goes. So…

It was eventually shared with my mother (and, now, with all of you 😉

I hope that, like the Apple Lady, you take pleasure in making it. Rest assured, those lucky enough to partake in this cake will take pleasure in eating it!

Buon Appetit!

Karen

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French Apple Cake

If you've ever had a French Apple Tart (Tarte Aux Pommes), this cake will definitely remind you of that. The cake consists mostly of thinly sliced apples (there is very little cake batter) with the delicate flavors of almond and vanilla. It feels light and decadent at the same time and is the perfect dessert to enjoy after a big meal.

Ingredients

For Cake:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 4 granny smith apples cored and sliced thinly

For Topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. butter melted
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, eggs, canola oil and milk. Stir until a loose batter forms. Add to that the sliced apples and stir to make sure that the apples are well coated with batter.
  3. Pour into the springform pan and bake for 25 -30 minutes, until it becomes puffed and lightly golden.
  4. Combine the topping ingredients in another bowl and pour over the cake. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly before removing it from the pan.
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Serves 6.

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