FFwD: Marie-Helenes Apple Cake

Friday, October 29, 2010

apple-cake-2a

Most of the time, I love the idea of apples more than I love the actual apples themselves. They’ve never been one of my favorite fruits.   It’s what they represent – cool, crisp Autumn days, the heady aroma of cinnamon and spice wafting through the house from a baking pie and the promise of impending holiday celebrations – that get my juices flowing.  While I don’t often eat apples out of hand, I can never resist plucking a few shiny, red and green orbs from the overflowing bins at the market.  They’re pretty.  I like to display them in a basket on my kitchen table.  And, when they start to look a little sad, I usually bake something with them.   Baking transforms apples into something I enjoy much, much more, like Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake from Dorie’s Around My French Table.

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Marie-Hélène is a friend of Dorie’s from Paris.  If her apple cake is anything to go on, I think that Marie-Hélène and I could definitely be BFF’s.  This cake is unbelievably simple to make.  It can be pulled together in mere minutes – without a Kitchenaid.  But, the end result is sublime.  Piles of tart and sweet apple chunks are blended into eggs, flour and melted butter, then laced with pure vanilla and dark rum.   As it bakes, the fragrance of those lovely ingredients melding together will make you swoon.  You will almost not be able to contain yourself as you take that first sweet, moist, lush bite.

apple-cake-1

The texture of this apple cake is not like any other I’ve had before.  The ratio of apples to cake is very high.  There was an astonishingly small amount of cake holding all of those apples together.   To me, it seemed more like a crustless deep dish pie than a cake, although that wasn’t a bad thing at all – just different.  I wondered if this was how it is supposed to be?  I don’t know.  Maybe French apples are smaller than ours here, but my cake  was literally overflowing with apple chunks.  And,  I only used the four that were called for.

Whatever.  Be it a cake, or a pie masquerading as a cake, it was fabulous, people!   You really must try this one.

apple-cake-3

The recipe can be found in Around My French Table.  If you don’t have the book yet, (and you should), it can also be found on the Epicurious site.  And, don’t forget to stop by the French Fridays with Dorie site to see a lot more of Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake.

Bon Appetit!

19 responses to FFwD: Marie-Helenes Apple Cake

  1. On October 29, 2010 at 4:45pm, Jessica @ How Sweet It Is said...

    That picture of the apples is breathtaking!

    • On October 29, 2010 at 4:52pm, Susan said...

      Thanks! :D

  2. On October 29, 2010 at 5:00pm, bellini said...

    My mom saw this cake on a recent news show and had to have the recipe. After much searching I found it on their site, but now it’s apple goodness will be all over the blogosphere!!!! Yay!!!

  3. On October 29, 2010 at 5:17pm, Rosa said...

    What a beautiful apple cake! Delightful I’m sure.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. On October 29, 2010 at 5:38pm, Linda said...

    I was also pretty apprehensive about the amount of apples called for in the recipe, but was so happy that I didn’t cut back on the amount of fruit. Another blogger shared that this reminds her of clafouti, and I couldn’t agree with her more.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the cake!

  5. On October 29, 2010 at 9:26pm, Ann (napangel) said...

    Your cake is beautiful … and so are the photos! I loved it too.

  6. On October 29, 2010 at 9:53pm, StephIrey said...

    I was worried about the amount of apples and small amount of batter too…but as we all discovered…the outcome was terrific. Great photos!

  7. On October 29, 2010 at 11:59pm, Janet said...

    This is exactly like the apfelkuchen I swooned over when we were in Germany ten years ago! You are right, it’s like a cross between a deep dish apple pie and a cake, rich with apples. I am thrilled to get the recipe and make it myself! Thank you so much!

  8. On October 30, 2010 at 2:45am, Teresa said...

    It does seem like quite a lot of apples, but the result is so fantastic. It’s got the soft richness of pie and the lightness of cake.

  9. On October 30, 2010 at 3:17am, moowiesqrd said...

    It’s a lot of apples, but the end result is amazing. I was very skeptical of the batter at first, but it turned out nicely. Maybe French apples are smaller than ones we buy here in the States. My batter looked like potato salad, but baked up like a pineapple upside-down cake.

  10. On October 30, 2010 at 9:25am, Amalia said...

    I just dont know which apple cake i should make anymore! there are too many! these one looks great! so moist!

    -Amalia

    http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com/

  11. On October 31, 2010 at 9:41am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I remember seeing an apple cake like this in Paris and turned it down for some reason in favor of another dessert. I”m beginning to regret that decision.

    You’re like my husband. He won’t touch a raw apple, but will snarf any apple dessert I make him. I guess it’s a consistency thing. Personally I love a crisp apple with a slice of good cheese or a big glob of peanut or almond butter.

  12. On October 31, 2010 at 6:19pm, Jessica said...

    Your cake turned out beautifully – I liked the craggy apples poking out on top. I too prefer baked/cooked apples to the raw ones – although when you get a great fresh apple, there’s nothing better. I can’t stand being disappointed by mealy ones, though.

  13. On October 31, 2010 at 7:08pm, {Clockwork Lemon} said...

    I’ve baked so much with apples this month, but I just keep on finding more and more things that I want to make with them. this looks amazing!

  14. On November 01, 2010 at 11:50am, Lael Hazan said...

    This looked lucious, I haven’t found great looking apples this year. I’m looking forward to making this soon.

  15. On November 01, 2010 at 1:18pm, Peter said...

    Susan, I would change a thing here…just add a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream for my portion.

  16. On November 02, 2010 at 12:54pm, Delishhh said...

    This is a very similar to a Swedish Apple cake. Looks really good.

  17. On November 03, 2010 at 6:38pm, emiglia said...

    I am much more of a pie person than a cake person, so this is right up my alley. Love!

  18. On November 03, 2010 at 9:58pm, Michelle said...

    I have but one word for this…. WANT. Looks amazing, Susan!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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