Thursday, September 13, 2012

Double Trouble: Apple Edition

I was going to start this post with a happy little story about apple picking with my nephews last Sunday. But it's been that kind of week here at Clio & Phineas, and the week isn't even done.

At the same time some of you were emailing to say that my blog was setting off the malware alerts, I was in the kitchen baking with my annual apple picking bounty. I wanted to try a new-to-me recipe, and Phin selected the Bolzano Apple Cake from The Essential NY Times Cook Book - which is a fantastic compendium. (recipe below).

In truth, I should have known that something would go wrong when the recipe was described as a clafoutis. You remember my first attempt at clafoutis, don't you? The one that will forever be known as Zombie Pie? Well, there have been several more attempts to master clafoutis. All equally unsuccessful. Anyway, things were going just fine up through the first five minutes of baking. Then I started smelling something that reminded me of burnt pancakes. NOT good! When I checked the oven, it turned out that my spring form pan was leaking batter onto the bottom of the oven.

When good cakes go bad...

Seriously, what is it about clafoutis?!?!?  I did manage to get the pan out of the oven and onto a baking sheet, where it continued to ooze. Once the oven was clean and re-heated, and the cake had been transferred to a cake pan, I put it back in the oven. This is not a strategy that I endorse, but what choice did I have? I was not expecting good results.

But I was pleasantly surprised!

Look at how brown and lovely my cake is! And thanks to parchment paper and a very generous coating of butter and flour, I was able to get it out of the (non-spring form) pan without mutilating it.

Phin was pretty wild about this cake. It's actually much more tart-like than cake-like, with layers of thinly sliced apple held together with a minimum of lightly sweet, eggy, buttery crust-like cake. Right up Phin's alley. For me it was a bit eggy, but still enjoyable. And we both agreed that a dollop of whipped cream would be the perfect accompaniment.

Layers of apple..mmmmm....

I think Phin is already angling for me to make this again, since it's all gone. (If he is smart, a new spring form pan will magically appear in my kitchen.) And to be honest, this is exactly what I would make for family, company or just for myself if I wanted apple pie without the hassle of making a crust. Plus, the recipe seems to be fool-proof. So, two thumbs up, despite my equipment fail and near disaster.

Bolzano Apple Cake

8 tbsp butter plus extra for greasing pan
2 large eggs
1 c sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out
1 1/4 lbs apples
1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c whole milk at room temp

Heat oven to 375. Melt butter in sauce pan and set aside. Beat eggs with half the sugar. Gradually add rest of sugar while beating. Batter should form a ribbon when dropped from a spoon. Add vanilla seeds to batter and bean to cooling butter. Peel, quarter, core and thinly slice apples. Remove vanilla bean from butter. Stir butter into batter. Combine flour and baking soda. Stir into batter alternately with milk. Stir in apples, coating every piece with batter. Pour into parchment lined, buttered and floured 8" spring form pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 25 min. until cake pulls away from the pan and is brown on the side. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean. Cool for 30 minutes and then unmold. Serve warm with a sprinkle of confectioners sugar or dollop of whipped cream. 

om nom nom


T. Sedai said...

That looks so yummy!

Karin said...

Yum! Always good to have another apple cake recipe in the Fall. This one looks great!

Meg the Grand said...

That sounds amazing!! And looks so very tasty :)

oonaballoona said...

could you just make me one please? kthxbye!