Fall has arrived in earnest. We've had a fire for the past two nights. I am sitting here typing in a sweatshirt and jeans (after 6 months of shorts and t-shirts this is a challenge). When it is cool like this I start craving stews and cake. I don't know why, perhaps for me these are comfort foods the way others drool over a grilled cheese sandwich.
I was looking for a recipe to use some apples up the other day and came upon this recipe in a Williams-Sonoma Regions of Italy cook book. This cake is a specialty of the Friuli-Venezia region of Italy. It sounded amazing - a soft buttery cake covering tender apple slices that had also been cooked in butter. Frankly I am shocked that Paul Deen hasn't suggested that she has invented this recipe as it has her trademarks . . . mainly an excess of butter.
I made it for dinner and it was well received. Actually, it was more than well received as someone who shall remain nameless ate 3 pieces. I think that this must be the reason that I am only about 8 pounds more than said someone. A milestone for us as I have always been about 20 - almost 80 (ARGH) pounds lumpier.
Oh oh - yet again I have digressed.
I was worried that it would all get eaten and we'd get fatter so I took the leftovers into work where my colleagues also loved it.
Clearly this recipe was a winner.
Even better - it wasn't a challenging cake to pull together. I appreciated that.
If you're craving a delicious taste of fall as well give this a try. It isn't low-fat but it is amazing and life should be about good things in moderation IMHO!
Torta di Mele al Burro (Buttery Apple Cake)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan with 2 inch sides (I used a spring form pan)
In a large frying pan over low heat, melt the butter. pour 6 tablespoons of it into a small bowl and set aside. Add the apples to the frying pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk until blended. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, vanilla, granulated sugar, and the lemon zest. Stir in the flour mixture. Gently fold in the apples. Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until the cake is brown - 30 - 35 minutes (my cake needed 45 minutes). Transfer to a wore rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan onto the rack and allow to cool completely.
Just prior to serving dust the cake with icing sugar (we skipped this and didn't miss it at all!)