Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
French Apple Cake Slice

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or Gold Rush apples, peeled and cored
1 cup + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 T Calvados or brandy
1 t lemon juice
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, for topping

Preheat oven to 325F. You will be placing the cake on the bottom rack, so make sure the oven is set up for this.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan (NOTE: a 10" pan is too wide, and the layers will be too thin)

Wrap the base of the pan in aluminum foil, place on a cooking sheet (to help reduce the over-browning of the bottom)

Slice the apples into 8 wedges, then slice crosswise into ⅛" slices. Place apples into microwave-safe dish or bowl and cover (plastic wrap or another bowl work well). Cook on high heat for 3 minutes, or until pliable and slightly translucent. Toss apples with Calvados and lemon juice and set aside and allow to cool slightly (15 minutes).

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 whole egg, oil and melted butter, milk and vanilla until smooth.

Pour into dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Transfer 1.5 cups of batter back into the medium bowl.

Add the egg yolks to the remaining batter (in the large bowl) and gently fold in apple slices to the cake batter in the large bowl and fold in. Pour into prepared cake pan, pressing down to make a compact layer, and smooth the surface.

Whisk remaining 3 tbsp flour into the reserved batter (medium bowl) that was set aside. Drizzle the batter evenly (or pour very slowly) over the apple batter already in the pan. Sprinkle 1T granulated sugar evenly over the cake (this helps create a crisp top).

Bake until tester toothpick comes out clean and top is golden brown, about 1¼ hours. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack (2-3 hrs) before removing the springform ring and slicing. Dust lightly with confectioner's sugar and cinnamon.

Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated.

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