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Simplicity Is Elegance

I am not much of a dessert eater, but I do enjoy fruit desserts. I prefer tarts and galettes. Most times I am too full after eating to even think about something sweet. However, this cake totally changed everything. It’s moist, full of fruit, not too sweet, light, and incredibly delicious. I remember the first time I made it, I was alarmed when I started folding in the cubed apples. “This can’t be right,” I thought to myself. There seemed to be more fruit than cake. Exactly!

This cake can be baked in a regular cake pan, however I prefer a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. This makes it very easy to slide onto a plate after it cools.

FRENCH APPLE CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off

  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder

  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt

  4. 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  5. 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling over cake

  6. 2 farm fresh organic eggs

  7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  8. 3 tablespoons dark rum

  9. 3 baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes (I like Pink Ladies, Granny Smith or Cortland)

  10. Confectioner’s sugar (optional) for decorating cake

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform or regular cake pan with butter or cooking spray. If using a springform pan, line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, and grease again. If using a regular cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease again.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking power and salt.

  3. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and rum. The batter will look slightly grainy.

  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped apples.

  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even the top. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  6. Allow the cake to cool on a rack in the pan. Once cool, run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake. If using a springform pan, remove the sides. If using a regular cake pan, carefully invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, then gently flip the cake over and place right-side-up on a platter. If using a springform pan, remove parchment paper on the sides, slip two spatulas under the cake, and carefully slide it onto a platter.

  7. Using a fine sieve, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cake can be served warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6-8

“Life’s too short to say no to cake!”
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