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Wow! Dorie Greenspan's Marie-Helene's Apple Cake
Joined: Jan 11, 2007
Posted to Thread #19323 at 5:20 am on Nov 8, 2010
I was out of rum so a friend suggested I substitute sherry. Delish!
This recipe is posted on Dorie's Amazon page, so I'm considering it fair game to share:
Marie-Helene's Apple Cake
I remember once trying to teach a French friend of mine the expression, "as American as apple pie." After I’d explained what pie was, I thought the rest would be easy..but not exactly.
"I don’t understand," she said, "we have apples, too, and we make delicious desserts with them. Why couldn’t we say, 'As French as tarte Tatin?'"
I certainly wasn’t going to argue with her, especially when she was right about all the delicious desserts the French make with apples.
One of my favorites is one that’s not anywhere near as well known as the upside-down tarte Tatin. Actually, I don’t think it has a formal name of any kind. I dubbed it Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake because it was my Parisian friend, Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhoste, who first made it for me. Marie-Hélène spends her weekends in Normandy, the land of cream, butter, Brie, and apples, and the cake she made had apples she’d picked from her backyard that afternoon.
I call this dessert a cake, mostly because I don’t know what else to call it. The rum-and-vanilla-scented batter is less cakey than custardy. And there’s only enough of it to surround the apples. It’s a very homey, almost rustic cake and it’s good no matter what kinds of apples you use. In fact, when I asked Marie-Hélène which apples she used, she said she didn’t know--she just used whatever she had.
The cake is extremely easy to make (foolproof, really, you just whisk the ingredients together in a bowl), satisfying, fragrant (I love the way the house smells when it’s in the oven) and appealing in an autumn-in-the-country kind of way.
It may be as French as can be, but it’s become this American’s favorite. I hope you’ll like it too. Now’s certainly the time for it. --Dorie Greenspan
Makes 8 servings
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.
The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to my husband, gets more comforting with each passing day. However long you keep the cake, it’s best not to cover it — it’s too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.
You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do
something about its depth. - M
Other messages in this thread:
- 19323. Wow! Dorie Greenspan's Marie-Helene's Apple Cake - Traca - 5:20am on 11/08/10 (22)
- Exactly what I was looking for.... but I have a question... - SallyBR - 2:38pm on 11/08/10
- This looks really similiar to the Balzano Apple cake, it's not messy at all to eat. REALLY good! [NT] - MoNJ - 3:24pm on 11/08/10
- Thanks, good to know..... I might make it tonight for tomorrow's meeting.... (will report back) [NT] - SallyBR - 5:12pm on 11/08/10
- Yes, it reminded me of the Balzano Apple cake or a structured clafouti (more flour) [NT] - Traca - 3:38am on 11/11/10
- Sally, sorry I'm just logging on. I don't think the springform pan is a necessity. In fact, next - Traca - 3:33am on 11/11/10
- Don't worry about it.... (more) - SallyBR - 4:47am on 11/11/10
- Line your pan with buttered parchment...clean as a whistle! [NT] - Glennis_NoCA - 2:43am on 11/12/10
- I'd consult a list about pan volumes. My guess is you may want to double it for a 1/2 sheet pan. [NT] - Traca - 5:38am on 11/12/10
- I checked for pan conversions.... (more) - SallyBR - 2:48pm on 11/12/10
- Classic Buttermilk Cornbread...we really liked this. I've never made it by mixing the cornmeal and [LINK] - Curious1 - 2:59pm on 11/08/10
- Oops, sorry Traca. I thought I'd posted a new thread with the above recipe. [NT] - Curious1 - 3:48pm on 11/08/10
- No worries. I can always use a good cornbread recipe & with all those variations, this looks great! [NT] - Traca - 3:40am on 11/11/10
- Looks great! If you don't want to use rum or sherry, can you just leave it out? Would it affect - DawnNYS - 3:36pm on 11/08/10
- Dawn, You can leave it out. You might want to try: - mistral - 4:34pm on 11/08/10
- Ha! Looks like we're both on the same wavelength. :) [NT] - Traca - 3:39am on 11/11/10
- It's 3 tbsps worth of moisture you'd be leaving out. Skipping alcohol, I'd be inclined to substitute - Traca - 3:35am on 11/11/10
- Here is another good apple cake. REC: Mary's Apple Cake - Dawn_MO - 3:36pm on 11/08/10
- Oooh, this looks good too Dawn. Very different than Dorie's cake. Will be making it soon! [NT] - Traca - 5:44am on 11/12/10
- I've made it, too...really tasty! [NT] - lizzy - 11:58pm on 11/08/10
- FYI, next time I make this, I'll add a bit of citrus zest. :) [NT] - Traca - 3:44am on 11/11/10
- We loved this and could eat it again ANY time! Sub apple juice for rum... [NT] - Glennis_NoCA - 2:45am on 11/12/10