Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake

This delectable apple cake recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Around my French Kitchen. Dorie is a culinary doyenne and author of very highly regarded cookbooks, some with chefs (Julia Childs, Pierre Hermé), so her recipes are without a doubt, impeccable.

This recipe has also been tested, reviewed and lauded on Epicurious, so you can be assured it works.

It’s a very forgiving recipe, – you don’t need to be exact with measurements. It’s simple, – you’re really making a batter and adding sliced apples to it. And most people would have all the ingredients on hand. Except me. I had to make a dash to the liquor store for some rum. My hip flask of Coruba will still be here in 10 years’ time, unless I find more recipes requiring rum, or make this another 8 times.

Ingredients (slightly modified):
¾ cup plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon (not in original recipe)
4 large apples (original recipe suggested using 4 different varieties, I had Jazz apples on hand)
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp dark rum (Dorie’s recipe used 3 tbsp)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (original recipe had ½ tsp)

125g butter, melted and cooled

2 tbsp of rum is plenty for me, – you do get the strong rum flavour. I upped the vanilla extract to compensate for the reduced rum. You can also use artificial rum flavouring, or pineapple juice.

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Melt the butter in the microwave (it took about 1 minute in my microwave, – I gave it 30 seconds, then stirred and then another 20 seconds) Generously butter (I brushed it with some of melted butter) and flour a 20cm springform pan.

Peel the apples, core and cut into thin-ish slices.

Whisk the eggs with sugar until lightly coloured and creamy, to light ribbon stage. Add the rum and vanilla, and continue to beat until well combined.

Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add this to the egg mixture, and whisk on the lowest setting to combine. Take off the stand and combine with a spatula to ensure all the flour is incorporated. Fold in the melted butter, – you will end up with a smooth and rather thick batter.

Fold in the apples well, ensuring the slices are coated evenly with batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Bang on the chopping board or counter several times to ensure there are no air pockets.

Bake for 55 minutes, test with cake tester. Your kitchen will smell fantastic as it is baking. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.

It is easy to remove the springform sides, as the cake does come slightly away from the sides. However, it can stick to the bottom, so you will need to invert the cake onto a plate, then run a palate knife/spatula gentle between the cake and springform tin bottom, and lift away slowly. Then invert it onto your serving dish.

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2 thoughts on “Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake

  1. easyfoodhacks says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I typically don't like using any liquor in my cooking, but it's actually not too strong, and my friends absolutely loved it. You can use pineapple juice, but I should think you can just leave it out. Let me know how it turns out.

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