Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake


I am in love with Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table”. Every time I open this cookbook I remember my trips to France and the wonderful food that can be found in that glorious country. From the patisseries in Paris, to the fields of Provence and the seaside villages of the southern coast; France is filled with culinary delights and extraordinary experiences. There is a reason that France has been a world leader in fine cuisine for centuries. The art of cooking and enjoying great food is in the hearts and souls of her people.

For my next baking adventure I really wanted to make Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake from Dorie’s book. This is a recipe that Dorie wrote after watching her friend bake this amazing cake without a recipe. I think it will soon be called Dorie’s Apple Cake since it has turned into a modern day classic.

This cake is so delicious and easy to bake. The abundance of apples and hint of rum add a burst of flavour to its coffee cake like texture. I did not have an 8 inch springform pan so I used my 9.5 inch springform pan. Mine turned out a little shorter and wider than Dorie’s but nonetheless, it was delicious.

I will definitely add this one to my favourite recipe collection and bake it often.

Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. dark rum
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 tbsp. 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 and put the springform on it.

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 spread evenly.

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’s served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.

Recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan


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