French Apple Cake is moist and flavorful with just the right amount of sweetness to counter the tart apples. With or without the scoop of the vanilla ice cream on the top, it tastes incredible.
I made the Master Taste Tester some more vanilla ice cream, and thought that this French Apple Cake would be a perfect accompaniment. Judging from how quickly the cake disappeared, I was right!
I saw this cake prepared on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen some time back, and was again reminded of it when Susan gave me the Cooks Illustrated All-Time Best French Recipes for Mother’s Day. This was one of the featured recipes.
Ingredients for French Apple Cake:
I used the following ingredients: Apples, Calvados, lemon juice, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Calvados is an apple brandy. I could have used dark rum instead of the Calvados.
Preparing the Apples:
First, I peeled and cored the apple. Then, I cut each apple into 8 wedges, and sliced the wedges ⅛-inch thick crosswise. I placed the apples in a pie plate, covered it, and microwaved the apples until they were pliable and slightly translucent. This took around 3 minutes. Then, I tossed the apples with Calvados and lemon juice, and let them cool while I prepared the batter.
Making the Batter:
For the batter, I whisked together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of granulated sugar, the baking powder and the salt in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, I whisked together the vegetable oil, milk, 1 egg, and vanilla extract until it was smooth.
I added the flour mixture to the milk mixture, and whisked it just until it was combined. Then, I removed 1 cup of the batter to a separate bowl, and set it aside. Finally, I added two egg yolks to the remaining batter, and whisked it to combine everything.
I gently folded the apples that had now cooled into the batter. Then, I poured the batter into a 9-inch springform pan that I had buttered and lined with parchment paper.
Next, I added the remaining 2 Tablespoons of flour to the reserved batter. Then, I poured the batter over the apple layer, and smoothed it with a spatula. By this time, I had lined the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil to catch any batter that might leak out.
Finally, I sprinkled the remaining Tablespoon of sugar over the top.
Baking the French Apple Cake:
I popped the cake into a 325° F preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. After that time, the top was golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean.
I let the cake cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, and then ran a thin knife around the pan to make sure that the cake wasn’t sticking. Then, I let the cake cool completely for several hours before removing the sides of the pan and the parchment paper. Talk about good! The cake was moist and flavorful with just the right amount of sweetness to counter the tart apples. With or without the scoop of the vanilla ice cream on the top, the French Apple Cake was incredible. Yum!
French Apple Cake
- 1 1/2 pounds (4 large) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced 1/8-inch thick crosswise
- 1 Tablespoon Calvados or dark rum
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (5.65 ounces, 160 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (7 ounces, 198 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting optional
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray; line with parchment paper. Place prepared pan on aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- Place apples in pie plate, cover, and microwave until apples are pliable and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Toss apples with Calvados and lemon juice, and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Whisk 1 cup flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Whisk oil, milk, egg, and vanilla in larger bowl until smooth. Add flour mixture to milk mixture and whisk until just combined. Transfer 1 cup batter to separate bowl and set aside.
- Add egg yolks to remaining batter and whisk to combine. Using spatula, gently fold in cooled apples. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly to pan edges, gently pressing on apples to create even, compact layer, and smooth surface.
- Whisk remaining 2 Tablespoons flour into reserved batter. Pour over batter in pan, spread batter evenly to pan edges, and smooth surface. Sprinkle remaining 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar evenly over cake. Bake until center of cake is set, toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and top is golden brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Run think knife around pan to loosen cake, and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours. Remove sides of pan. If desired, dust cake likely with confectioners’ sugar, and cut into wedges. Serve. Yield: 9-inch cake.