When the leaves start turning, my thoughts — and appetite — turn to my apple recipes. And Francophile that I am, here’s the dish that I think fetes the fall season perfectly.
Enjoy or — as they say en francais — savourez!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling over cake
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch cubes (3½ – 4 cups chopped). I like Honeycrisp, Fuji or Granny Smith.
- Confectioners’ sugar (optional), for decorating cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform or regular cake pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. If using a regular cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease again.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and rum. Don’t worry if the batter looks grainy at this point; that’s okay.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped apples.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even the top. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a rack in the pan. Once cool, run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake. If using a springform pan, remove the sides. If using a regular cake pan, carefully invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, then gently flip the cake over and place right-side-up on a platter. Using a fine sieve, dust with confectioners’ sugar (if using). Cake can be served warm or room temperature, plain or with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Freezer-friendly instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.