Saturday, November 8, 2008

Apple Tart Bread

It will come as no surprise that I find baking to be very therapeutic. Especially, when I bake in the morning and the light in my kitchen is bright and golden and the house is quiet, quiet except for the rustle of leaves outside or the quick spatter of someone's footsteps. I don't get to do this often (unfortunately, my full time job intrudes), but when I do, I treasure it. It's my time, as much mine as I can make it. The magic that happens here is mine alone and mine to share.

I hope you are not yet sick of apple cakes, because I am offering another one from this website that has quickly become one of my favorites since I discovered it a short time ago. What I really wanted to do was make an apple pie. However, I have sort of a phobia of apple pies and I have never baked one before, and that morning was not the one for experimenting. You see, even though I have spent most of my life in this country, my genes are European and I just don't know what a true American apple pie is supposed to taste like. I do not have that innate sense of rightness or that intuition that most people have when cooking a dish native to their ancestors' land. Some day, I will research and tackle this project (or just shoot from the hip and make the first recipe that sounds good to me), but the morning I baked this, I felt a tug of nostalgia and I wanted something that tastes familiar, something I could smell even before the first flour was sifted or the first apple was cut.

All I can say is that this cake is a delight and you must -- no, really, you must -- make it. It is everything that is rustic and yet elegant, complex and simple, tasting of mellow October sun and apple orchards heavy with ripened fruit. It's the kind of cake where you think "will all these apples really fit?" but fit they do, and gloriously so. I would make it again and for every occasion. Slicing the apples thinly gives it the softness and delicacy of French apple tarts, but the robust batter (which, by the way, tasted amazing) provides a nice, comforting heft. I am completely in love with this cake.

Apple cake 2

The Knead For Bread Apple Tart Bread

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3.5-4 large apples or 5 smaller ones
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Peel and core your apples, and then slice them thinly. Prepare an 11 inch tart pan and turn the oven to 350F. If you don't want the apples to brown, you can squeeze some lemon juice over the apples (but there is no need here, as the apples will go into the batter anyway).

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a small bowl. Melt the butter and leave it to cool. In a large bowl combine the eggs and sugar. Using a mixer mix on high speed for three minutes. The mixture will become pale and thick.

Add in the slightly warm melted butter and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended. Add in the sliced apples and stir until the apples are coated. Add in the sifted dry ingredients and mix until the flour in incorporated.

Pour into the prepared tart pan and place into the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, dust with confectioners' sugar. I think this tastes the best when warm, and I would not be averse to trying it with some whipped cream next time.

22 comments:

The Food Librarian said...

Oh no, I'll never get tired of apple recipes! This tart looks simple and elegant! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful treat.

Patsyk said...

What a beautiful apple cake! There can never be enough recipes for apple cake.

Eileen said...

I will do as you say and make this cake. It sounds (and looks) wonderful...

Marysol said...

I also find baking therapeutic. And your apple cake looks like a good reason for me to crank up my oven.

Peg said...

Your kitchen should have smelled heavenly! I love apple cake. Thanks!

When I was a child, my mother and her friends met over coffee and sweets at each other's houses every morning. Your Apple Cake would have been perfect for it. It is definitely a treat to be shared with friends.

Dana said...

This cake looks so delicious!!! I'm a huge fan of apple desserts; you could never post too many.

LE said...

Irene, what kind of apples did you choose to use?

Irene said...

Hi, LE :). I used Fuji apples this time, but I usually use Golden Delicious in baking. The Fujis were so juicy and wonderful in this dessert! Not very tart, though, which was fine with me.

Irene said...

LE, correction, I used Gala apples! Sorry!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

This makes me want to go to the kitchen right now and make it! I love the sprinkles of icing sugar.

Vera said...

Fantastic looking cake, Irene!

Sunshinemom said...

Tired of apple recipes? This one looks divine. Thanks Irene, for stopping by my blog - it was quite sometime back and I have been late in getting back, but I am glad I came! Your space is luscious to say the least!

Chuck said...

Irene,

your Apple cake looks amazing! I'm so glad you shared it with all the guests that come to your website.

I have had so many emails from people that just love it.

It's simple and delicious, just the kind of thing I like lol.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this. Looks delicious! What do you do to prepare the tart pan?

Irene said...

I brush it lightly with butter or spray with Joy (baker's spray). I've also made it in a 9" cake pan and just lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper (and run the knife around the cake when it's done). Just thinking about it, I really want to make this again!

LE said...

Irene, I finally made this last week. It was nummy! When I had it a few days later, I decided to heat it and drizzle some caramel over it and then serve it with a small scope of ice cream since I didn't have any cream. Oh. My. Goodness! It may have spiked the calorie count, but when something is that good, you don't mind an occasional splurge.

Irene said...

LE, that sounds fabulous!!! Forget the calories. There are no calories in apple cake. :D

Anonymous said...

I made this cake on Saturday, it was a snap to make, thank you! Next time, I will add more sugar, maybe even some brown sugar, as I think it will improve the taste. I also really want to make the same recipe with fresh peaches, not overripe, what do you think?

Fiona

Irene said...

It sounds fantastic with peaches too, and with pears maybe? I love the idea of brown sugar to give it a different texture. Please let me know how it works out!

Anonymous said...

We will have to wait until summer for the peaches, alas! I was thinking about pears too, though :)

Will try to make it soon and will submit full report.
Fiona

doreeen sia said...

Hello I'm thinking of making this cake tomorrow. What size tart pan did you use by the way? Thanks :)

Irene said...

Hi Doreen, I used a 10" tart pan. An 11" would work too, as would a 9" or 10" cake pan. I hope you like it!