Sunday Dinner

Twice Baked Herb and Sour Cream Potatoes
Bibb Lettuce Salad with Bacon and Croutons

French Apple Cake

A classic Fall day with mild temperatures and puffy cumulus clouds passing overhead calls for a classic Autumn meal.  The capper to this menu uses the staple fruit of the season---apples.  Although this is called a cake, the taste, texture and appearance call to mind a bread pudding or a thick apple crêpe.  The minimal amount of batter is simple to prepare with no stand mixer needed.  Four large apples are folded into the batter.  And for a play on texture, use different varieties of apples.  I used Gala, Pink Lady, Golden Crisp, and one that a neighbor shared (I think it was a Macintosh).  Serve it with a cinnamon and sugar infused crème fraîche for a delicious dessert worthy of rounding out a hearty meal. 

French Apple Cake

For the Cake
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced, then slices cut in half
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan

For the Topping
8-ounces creme fraiche
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Cake
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Generously butter an 8-inch spring-form pan, line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they are foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.

Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the spring-form pan. (Open the spring-form slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the spring-form pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.

For the Topping
In a medium bowl, whisk the creme fraiche, sugar and cinnamon until soft peaks form.  Slice the cake into wedges and serve with a dollop of the topping.  Leftover cake can be stored at room temperature with a sheet of plastic gently placed on the top of the cake for up to 2 days.  The topping can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.  Enjoy!

Source: Cake adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, Topping from The Galley Gourmet


  1. This entire dinner sounds AMAZING, but I definitely need to try the apple cake recipe out. I just got back from the apple orchard with a bushel full of Galas!

  2. I love your Sunday Dinner posts! They inspired me to be thoughtful about Sunday dinners at my home. Putting this cake on the list.

  3. DROOL. I want that cake. Badly.

  4. Do you think the cake would work with pear?

    Thank you for your blog. Me

    1. I cannot speak from experience, but I can't see why not. Make sure to use a pear that is not overly ripe. It would add too much moisture. A Poire William might be a nice substitute for the rum.

  5. That cake looks amazing!


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