Jan 23, 2013

Sunny apple cake

Tuesday, Jan. 22. It's -6 C (20 F) outside. We went to the market, but with -6C...there was no market. Just some old pots and underwear in peculiar colors and shapes. I passed on the pots and undies.

We got our supplies somewhere else, where seasons don't matter and apples don't taste.

They needed a major improvement. Lemon, sugar and vanilla, helped to bring the taste in the apples, baking did the rest. They turned out enjoyable. Together with a soft, moist, lemony cake...no one could resist. Hania wished for more, especially apples.

I found the recipe in my recent and all time favorite Italian site. I've made apple cakes before but I can't remember what I did differently last time. Every time is like the first time.

The cake's name comes from arranging the apple pieces in a sun-rays-like pattern, with the sun in the middle. Cute. I put as many apple pieces as I could, in two circles, densely and tightly, one next to the other. The cake could have taken more, but my apples were too short and too wide. The recipe said to use 800 g apples (5 medium), I was only able to use 530 g (3-4 pieces). Planing better the arrangement of the fruit would have been a good idea. No big deal. Cake is a cake, not a fruit plate.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano

time: 35 min preparation + 50 min baking + 10 min cooling = 1h 35 min

800 g (1.8 lbs) or 5 medium apples
125 g (1 stick) butter room temperature
3 eggs
125 g (1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1 pinch salt
250 g (1 2/3 cups) flour
2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
2 lemons
150 ml (2/3 cups) milk 
2 Tablespoons brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 355 F. Butter and flour (extra butter and flour) 24 cm/9 inch round spring baking form. If you have a larger one, you can fit more apples and cut cooking time by 5 minutes or so. 
Prepare zest from two lemons. Juice one lemon.
Peel, core and cut apples in half moons, not too thin, about .5 cm/.2 inch thick. Pour lemon juice on the apples. Set them outside. Sift together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.

In a bowl of a standing mixer, place butter, sugars, salt and eggs together. Using a whisk attachment, beat the mix for about 3 minutes. Don't worry about the specks of butter. Add flour mix. Slowly pour in  milk. Add lemon zest. Mix for another 3 minutes till all combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared form. Arrange the apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Place it in the hot oven for 40-50 minutes. 50 min was perfect for my cake. Check if the toothpick from the middle comes out clean. Take the cake out, let it cool.

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