This week, our cooking assignment from Dorie's around my french table was marie-helene's apple cake. I was quite excited to try this recipe. As a child, my grandma would ask me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday. I would always request her to-die-for Dutch Apple Cake. Her cake had a crusty top, much like a muffin, and then moist, tender cake with bits of apple throughout. The cake was a deep golden brown and pure heaven! For some reason, as an adult, I've never made the cake for myself. I guess it's the kind of cake that someone needs to make for you. I've included my grandma's recipe at the end of this post. I love reading her recipes. They're written in her writing and in her style...short, sweet and to the point. Luckily, I grew up cooking with her, so I know how to read her recipes.
My grandma died 12 years ago, when I was on bed rest, pregnant with Ethan. I didn't get to say goodbye to her, or go to her funeral, or help my sisters and my mom in my grandmother's last weeks (she was on hospice, choosing to die at home, rather than in a hospital). I've always had regrets about this, wished that I'd been able to help. However, the positive of this is I remember my grandma as she was before she got sick. Grandma was a tiny woman (4'11" with her heels), quick to smile and incredibly loving with her grandkids. Throughout the rough times in my childhood, grandma was often there to rescue me...if only for a Friday night sleep over where we would play cards and eat vanilla ice cream with strawberries on top.
Anyway, when I saw Dorie's apple cake recipe, I was excited to make it and see how it compared to my grandma's. Dorie's recipe is a bit different from grandma's (it doesn't include 1 1/2 cups of oil...holy toledo, what was grandma thinking?), but it's also quite similar too.
|Most of the needed ingredients, on my adorable tea towel from Paris.|
|When I started making the cake, I thought I was out of butter and then discovered my PLUGRA! Thank goodness.|
|I love using my apple slicer/corer to cut my apples before I peel them.|
|Lots of apples!|
|The batter was beautiful and had a lovely flavor (yes, I sampled it!)|
|I only have a 9" springform pan, not an 8"...this recipe definitely needed an 8".|
|Dishes, dishes, dishes!!|
|It still looks pretty darn yummy!|
|Out of the springform, it's a fairly short cake.|
|I only had white rum, rather than dark rum, I wonder if that made a difference in the color of the cake?|
|My apples seem to be more at the top and not as evenly distributed as the ones in Dorie's photo.|
|I served the cake with my homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream.|
The cake was a hit with everyone (as was the homemade ice cream). It's a perfect fall cake. Simple to make, light and delicious to make. I'd say we've got a winner here! (Next time I will definitely use an 8" pan and try it with dark rum.) It's not quite the same as grandma's cake, but then it also doesn't have a cup and a half of oil!
Grandma Spencer's Dutch Apple Cake
(exactly as it's hand written on her recipe card)
1 1/2 c oil
2 C sugar
1 t soda
3 C flour
1 t salt
3 C diced apples
1 C chopped walnuts
1 t vanilla
Mix oil, sugar + eggs. Sift flour, sift together w/soda & salt.
Blend w/oil mix, blend in apples + nuts, vanilla.
Bake in tube or loaf pan @ 350 for 1 hr 15 mins.
If you try it, invite me over for a piece, please!
For even more apple cakes go to French Fridays with Dorie.