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I am an admirer of pastry chef and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. Julia Child chose her to write Baking with Julia. Her credentials can’t get any better than that.
Greenspan writes a prominent food blog that you might enjoy reading, Dorie Greenspan’s Food Blog and has published a number of highly-regarded cookbooks.
I recently added her 2014 cookbook Baking Chez Moi to my burgeoning cookbook collection. Ina Garten’s review of the book sold me. Garten wrote: “This personal book on homey French cooking is so beautiful that you’ll want to lick the pages.” I’m looking forward to trying a lot of her recipes from that book. I’ll let you know how I do.
This is my take of one of Greenspan’s recipes from her earlier book Around My French Table and republished on the PBS site: Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake
Marie-Helene, by the way, is the food editor of the Louis Vuitton City Guides and a friend of Greenspan’s.
In addition to baking a delicious apple cake that you can share with your family and friends, your kitchen will have that great autumn fragrance of baked apples. There is also, of course, that big dollop of cinnamon-scented heavy whipped cream.
Recipe: Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples
2 large eggs
3/4 C. sugar
3 T. dark rum
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
8 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set springform pan on the baking sheet.
Whisk four, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Peel and core 4 large apples and cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside. The original recipe suggests that you use four different types of apples if you can. I did.
Whisk eggs until frothy. Whisk sugar into eggs along with dark rum and vanilla extract. Whisk in half the flour mixture. Add half the melted butter and mix. Add remaining flour and remaining melted butter. Mix.
Fold the apple chunks into the batter mixing until the batter coats the apples. Pour into prepared springform pan and spread batter evenly in the pan.
Bake 50-60 minutes until top of cake is golden colored and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove baked cake from the oven and cool on a rack for five minutes. After five minutes, run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to separate the cake from the sides of the pan. Be careful in doing this as the cake is pretty tender particularly because it has such a high proportion of apples to batter. Let cake cool completely before cutting. Slice this delicate cake carefully. Serve with a dollop of whipped heavy cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder.