I’m back!  I’m back!  I’m back!!

Yes, I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging during the last month – first was because of an actual break (went home to see the fam), then work was a bit insane when I got back, so something had to give.  Plus … well … I have a confession to make.  I’ve started reading the Harry Potter series and that has TOTALLY sucked up my spare time.  Yeah, I know … tardy to the party, that’s me.  But, hey, I don’t have kids, so I have an excuse.  At any rate, I feel like I’ve totally made up for lost time and plunged myself head-long into the series, abandoning any semblance of adult responsibility in order to park it on the sofa and read.  Housework arresto!

But, before I get too engrossed in Order of the Phoenix, I thought I’d post a totally scrummy apple cake recipe that is not only easy to make, you don’t have to have the presence of mind to leave the butter out to come up to room temperature!  Because, let’s face it, for anyone who has those spur-of-the-moment baking ya-yas that we need to get out of our system, waiting for butter to be warm enough to cream until light and fluffy can be a serious impediment!  And there’s no spell for that.

Nope, this recipe uses MELTED and cooled butter!  Because of that, the cake batter, such as it is, is almost closer to a pancake batter that fills the spaces between the apples rather than a fluffy cake batter that lifts the apples.  The end result is an incredibly moist cake that is dense and almost pudding-like.  And it is outstanding if you serve it still warm with ice cream.  I based this recipe on one from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, which I highly recommend, but tweaked it slightly.  I added mixed spice to this recipe which gives it a little more depth of flavor that just adding cinnamon – and, don’t worry, you’ll use it again in another recipe I’m going to post next week.  So, make some yourself or pick some up at the grocery!

Pudding-y Apple Cake

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 1/2 oz butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 5 fist-sized apples, peeled, cored and dixed to 1/2″ dice (I like Pink Lady, but Macintosh would be good, too)
  • Demerera sugar

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare an 8″ springform pan by buttering and lining the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

Sift the flour with the mixed spice, baking powder and salt, then set aside.  Peel and core the apples, then halve and set aside in a large bowl of water and lemon juice, to keep from browning.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the eggs until fluffy, then add the sugar and incorporate thoroughly before adding the rum and vanilla.  Give one final mix, to make sure it’s completely combined, then add the melted butter and flour, beginning and ending with the flour.  When adding the last bit of flour, give a single stir rather than thoroughly incorporate.  Quickly chop the apples and add them to the batter – it’s going to look like you have way more apples than you need, but that’s fine – you want the end result to be a dense, moist apple cake that’s more apple than cake.  Once all the apples have been added and stired in to coat with the batter, pour into the prepared cake pan, then smooth the top over and cover generously with the demerera sugar.  Pop it into the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.

This is how it looks right out of the oven:


And, as I mentioned, it’s a dense, moist cake, so this is how it looks in cross-section (yes, it does look almost like a quiche):