This is not my mother’s apple cake. Hers is hearty and spiced. It’s thick. And delicious. I love how vastly different two dishes with the same name can be. Although this isn’t her traditional recipe, it was made possible by mom; it came from apples she picked up at a local market in Southern Utah. Thanks Mom! This cake is wonderfully moist and full of boozy flavor. The apple shines through, and although it seems almost scandalous to keep the apples from their cinnamon companion, I promise it works so well here. The original recipe called for four different varieties of apples as some will breakdown and almost melt, while others will retain their form for a little texture. I used four different types because that is what I had, and it really did work well. I’m sure even two different varieties would be great.
While I do pass along a lot of the treats I make, many of them stay home with us, so I like to make things a liiiiittle more on the healthy side. Nothing wrong with having a sliver of cake with breakfast, in my opinion. Because of that, I decreased the amount of butter and added in some greek yogurt, and it was still incredibly moist. If I’m melting butter, I’m going to brown it so I did that here too. I also used whole wheat pastry flour because… whole grains. P.S. I’m loving this cookbook. So many great techniques and recipes.
Recipe adapted from Food52 Genius Recipes, “Marie Helene’s Apple Cake, by Dorie Greenspan”
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 apples (4 different varieties if you can)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 T unsalted butter, browned and cooled
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, whole milk or 2% preferred
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Butter an 8-inch springform pan and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper to collect any spills.
Peel the apples if desired, then cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
Brown the butter in a small pan over medium heat. It will crackle and hiss, and then the solids will start to brown. Keep an eye on it to avoid burning. Once toasty, remove from heat, pour into large bowl to cool. Make sure to scrape in all of the browned bits for the best flavor.
To the browned butter, add the sugar, vanilla, and rum. Stir until combined. When cooled, add the yogurt and stir. Then add the eggs and whisk until shiny, about a minute.
Add about half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir. Gradually add in the remaining flour, mixing until just combined. Now fold in the apples and turn to coat.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 deg F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It should be golden colored and pulling away from the pan slightly. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Slowly open the springform pan, watching for any apple chunks that may be attached; it helps to run a spatula or knife around the edge of the pan first. Let the cake cool until slightly warm or room temperature. It will keep 2 days at room temperature, any longer and it should head to the fridge.