Dorie Greenspan’s French Apple Cake

Apple cake

I am so ready for fall, but it has been in the 80′s and super humid the last few days. I keep throwing on a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt before heading outside and I’m miserable. I’m so ready for fall. Don’t get me wrong, I got a little sad when our pool closed last weekend, but I am so ready for some cool crisp air. I love fall and everything that it brings.

I was super excited when I came around the corner of the fruit display at Trader Joe’s and they had a nice big bag of Macintosh apples on sale. Mac’s are my favorites and I was not disappointed. They taste like apple cider to me and that brings back lots of memories.

Growing up in Attica, NY we had a cider mill and every fall we would go to the mill to get our apple cider. To this day, I honestly think that it is the best apple cider I have ever in my life had. It wasn’t too sweet but it had a nice crisp apple flavor. When I bite into a Macintosh that cider is what I taste….ahhhh memories. The mill shut down probably about 15 years ago. I seem to remember that the regulations changed around making apple cider and they had to start pasteurizing it…I’m not sure if that was too much for them to endure, but it is very sad that they ever closed.

I think that is why when fall starts to show it’s face the first thing I crave are apples.

So here we have Dorie’s French Apple Cake and this is from her book Around My French Table

Jim asked what made this cake French and I told him it was the alcohol. I have no idea really, but I also think it might be the way that this cake is simply flavored without a whole lot of spices like cinnamon. The rum and the vanilla give the cake a lot of it’s flavor – oh yes, and of course the apples. I actually used light rum because that is all we had. I do think I would want to use dark rum if I made this again. You don’t need a whole lot so you could just go buy one of the little airplane bottles and you would be fine. The cake is almost like a pudding when it is done. I didn’t get much of a crumb except around the tops and the edges, but it was a very nice consistency and the flavor was great.

This is a snap to make and most of the work was in peeling the apples. Ella had this for breakfast a few days this week to polish it off. I was ok with that because in all honesty, this cake is very heavy on the apples and I also used white whole wheat flour, so it is really not too bad of an option – even for breakfast.

Enjoy!

French Apple cake
 

 

This is Dorie Greenspan’s French Apple cake. I thought it tasted a bit like a pudding with lots of apples tucked in.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and center rack in your oven. Butter an 8 inch round springform pan and place on a baking sheet. Dorie says to line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. I didn’t do this.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
  3. Peel the apples and then cut them into 1 inch chunks. (I think I cut mine too large so I would even try a bit smaller next time.)
  4. Beat the eggs with a whisk until they are foamy and then pour the sugar in and whisk for another minute until blended in. Whisk in the rum and vanilla and then half the flour. Mix all of that until incorporated and then add half of the melted butter followed by the remaining flour and then finally the remaining butter. With a rubber spatula fold in the apples and mix until all of the apples are coated with batter. Spread mixture into pan and try to even it out as much as you can.
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan.

Comments

  1. I tried this apple cake a few months ago and have to admit it wasn’t my favorite. If I make it again I’ll spice it up a little bit to bring out the flavor of the apples. Your photo is great, Becki, and it shows off the cake so nicely.

  2. Looks great! I love apple cakes. I grew up in upstate NY too, and have such apple-nostalgia.

  3. Looks like a delicious way to use those first fall apples.

  4. This sounds SO yummy. Especially, with the dark rum. Mmmmm, mmmm…extra warming for these cooler months. :)

  5. HI BECKI,
    I MADE THIS CAKE 3 TIMES NOW IN THE PAST FEW DAYS.
    THE FIRST TIME I COOKED THE FRENCH APPLE CAKE IN A SPRINGFORM PAN AND IT STILL LOOKED RAW AFTER COOKING 70 MINUTES. ALMOST THREW IT AWAY, BUT THOUGHT I WOULD BRING IT TO WORK. EVERYONE LOVED IT!!! LOVELY TASTE OF RUM WITH THE APPLES, DELICIOUS.
    THAT NIGHT I MADE IT AGAIN AND BAKED IT IN A PIE PLATE AND IT COOKED SO MUCH BETTER AND TASTED MORE CARMELIZED.
    THEN THIS MORNING I MADE IN A SPRING FORM PAN AGAIN AND LIKE THE FIRST TIME IT STILL LOOKED RAW AFTER COOKING IT 75 MINUTES. CAN YOU MAYBE TELL ME WHY IT WOULD NOT COOK IN THE SPRINGFORM PAN AND LOOK LIKE THE CAKE IN YOUR PICTURES.

    • Hi Diane,

      Thanks for your comment. I am not an expert baker, however I can give you a couple of possibilities. I used an 8 inch shiny metal springform pan. If you used a 7 inch coated (no-stick) springform pan it might take longer to cook. The pieplate might cook quicker than your springform and more evenly if it is glass vs. a metal plate – glass tends to bake quicker and a lot different than metal. I’m not sure where you live and what type of altitude you are baking at but that can affect the outcome. However, if it worked for you better in the glass vs. the springform I have to believe it has to do with either the size or the type of metal you are baking in. Based on that, your baking conditions/type of pan may require a longer cooking time. You could also cut back on the apples and cut them up into a smaller dice. Hope that helps!

      Becki

  6. Hey Becki,
    I made this yesterday and I had the same problem as Diane. It looked exactly the same when it came out of the oven after 65 minutes as it did when it went in. I expected the batter to cook up and around the apples, but that never happened, it stayed very thin. Did you invert it out of the springform pan? I kept looking at your picture thinking “That is nothing what mine looks like”. :) On the positive side, it tasted awesome and it was a hit at my sister’s house last night!

    • Hey there Coll – that is so weird that you both had the same problems. I just took it out of the springform pan without inverting. I wonder if the type of apples affect how it cooks up? I have no idea. Let me check around a little bit on some of the other blogs that made this and see if other people had the same issues. I’m glad you liked it though. I will say it is definitely a different texture and more pudding-y than cakelike….the rum does add some nice flavor though. I will let you know if I find anything out on the web. It’s Dorie’s recipe and she is usually pretty on target with her recipes…Thanks for commenting:-)

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