Why does it seem like apples are considered a fall dessert ingredient? Is it just me or are they pretty delicious and easy to find all year round? There is never ever a time of year that I don’t love apples in desserts and this custardy apple cake is just perfect for a spring or summer treat.
The main part of the cake is smooth and custardy, filled with sweet apples and a hint of cinnamon. The sugary topping gets perfectly crisp while baking which contrasts with the silky filling.
The cake isn’t overly sweet which makes it great to eat at breakfast time. It’s also delicious served chilled which is so appealing as the weather gets warmer.
Pay close attention to the instructions when baking. The batter is divided into sections to give it the custard-like texture on top of the apple filling. Basically- you reserve some of the batter to add to the top and mix extra egg yolks into the custard…see below.
- 11/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced 1/8 inch thick crosswise
- 1 tablespoon Calvados*
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg plus 2 large yolks
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325F. Spray 9-inch springform and place pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
Place apple slices into microwave-safe pie plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave until apples are pliable and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes**.
Toss apple slices with Calvados, lemon juice and cinnamon and let cool for 15 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk 1 cup flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a second bowl, whisk the whole egg (not the yolks!), oil, milk, and vanilla together until smooth.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Transfer 1 cup batter to separate bowl and set aside.
Add egg yolks to the remaining batter and whisk to combine. Using spatula, gently fold in the apples. Transfer batter to the pan; using an offset spatula to spread batter evenly to pan edges, gently pressing on apples to create even, compact layer, and smooth surface.
Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons flour into the batter you set aside. Pour over batter in pan and spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth the surface. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of sugar evenly over cake.
Bake until center of cake is set, toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and top is golden brown, about 75 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of pan and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours
Recipe adapted slightly from America's Test Kitchen
*Microwaving the apples ensures they are soft enough in the finished cake. The goal is for them to be pliable- so if one snaps after the first round of heating- continue to cook in 30 second intervals.
**If you don't have Calvados (French apple brandy,) any type of brandy would do. I also think rum or bourbon would add a nice flavor.