Apple Walnut Cake, hot from the oven.
It's very easy for me to become complacent. The recipe for my mother's apple crisp is what I always make in the fall. Why should I waste my time making another apple dessert, I ask myself, when this one is so good? Why risk time and ingredients on something that might not measure up to my favorite apple dessert?
Well, this cake was definitely worth the risks! Invited by our friends next door for their annual moussaka dinner on the patio, I scrapped my plans to make an apple crisp for our dessert. Instead, I baked this Apple Walnut Cake from one of my favorite cookbooks, Once Upon a Tart. What you have here is a cake that is part caramelized apples, and part coarsely chopped, toasted walnuts. The minimal batter is just enough to bind the two together. Top each slice with lightly whipped heavy cream and plan to eat any leftovers for breakfast the next morning!
The recipes calls for baking this cake at 350˚F for approximately 40 to 45 minutes. I ended up leaving mine in the oven for one hour. It just didn't have the golden brown color I felt it should have after baking for 45 minutes. My suggestion is to start watching your cake at the 40 minute mark, and use a wooden skewer or toothpick to check the dryness of the cake. I wanted to be sure the walnuts were toasty when finished baking, and they were!
Apple Walnut Batter Cake
a recipe from Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature; plus additional, butter for smearing in the cake pan
• 5 or 6 medium-size tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Rub a 9-inch round cake pan generously with butter.
2. Toss the apple slices with the cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Spread the apples evenly over the bottom of the cake pan.
3. Whisk the remaining sugar and the flour together in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg and the melted butter until just a bit of the flour remains visible. Stir in the walnuts until no flour is visible. Pour the batter evenly over the fruit.
4. Place the pan on the center rack in the oven, and bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (it took my cake 60 minutes to achieve the golden-brown I wanted).
5. Remove the pan from the oven, and place it on a wire rack. Let it cool for a few minutes. To remove the cake from the pan, put a serving plate over the top of the pan and quickly flip the pan over. The cake should come right out ( I also suggest running a knife between the cake and the pan before flipping). If any apples remain in the pan, remove, and place on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature (with lightly whipped cream!).
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