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New Year's Day (Includes Recipe)

After blowing off our accustomed gourmet New Year's Eve experience (for very good reason, I might add), the Mr. felt well enough to go to Kat & Andrew's New Year's Day brunch, another two-decades+ fixture in our lives.

I wanted to make something to bring, and the main thing we had in the house besides pantry staples was apples. Several different kinds of apples. I found this recipe on Epicurious, which recommends using at least 4 different types of apples, so I made it. But it was intended for an 8-inch springform pan, and we have only a 10-inch one.

In a moment of rare mathematical thought, I realized that this is a volume problem, and that the shape involved is a (short, squat) cylinder. I found a handy calculator via Google and discovered that the volume ratios were 1 to 1.5. Well! The original recipe calls for 2 eggs, so this was easy-peasy. I did find some additional adjustments needed (our eggs were likely extra large rather than just large, so I needed to add more flour, and I had to extend the baking time, which I did in 10-minute increments, checking the cake for done-ness each cycle), and I also added a bit of cinnamon, because I like cinnamon.

The apples I used were a mixture of Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gold Rush, and Gala.

cho's Version of Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake

Ingredients

NOTE: My measurements for 10-inch pan (original measurements for 8-inch pan)</p>

1 ½ cup (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
1 ⅛ teaspoon or 1 rounded tsp (3/4 teaspoon) baking powder
Big pinch (Pinch) of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 medium to small (4 large) apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
3 extra large (2 large) eggs
1 ⅛ cup (3/4 cup) sugar (note that ⅛ cup = 2 tablespoons)
4 ½ (3 tablespoons) dark rum
3/4 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract (I just use a scant teaspoonful)
12 tablespoons (8 tablespoons) (1 ½ sticks (1 stick )) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preparation

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 10-inch (an 8-inch) springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it. [cho: the baking sheet + paper seem to be a hedge against moisture leaking out. I did have a small amount of moisture on the paper afterward.]

Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in small bowl.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. [cho: I whisked until I couldn't feel any sugar grains left] Whisk in the rum and vanilla.

Peel and core the apples, cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks.

Whisk in half the flour into the egg mixture 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. [cho: This is where I realized that I needed more flour, likely because of the size of our eggs]

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. [cho: "Evenish." Love that precision ... this is definitely my kind of recipe!]

Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes (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 and the center feels firm and not squishy when you pat it with a fingertip. The cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. [cho: Mine did indeed pull away.]

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 springform pan. (Open the springform 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. Serve.

If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform 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. [cho: I did not do this.]

Additional Serving Ideas: The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène served her cake with cinnamon ice cream, and it was a terrific combination. [cho: I did not do this, although it sounds delish.]

Storing: The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to my husband, gets more comforting with each passing day. However long you keep the cake, it's best not to cover it — it's too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces. [cho: The Young Lady says that pressing slices of bread against the cut surfaces works well too. I guess you can toast the bread and serve it with jam later? Sounds like tea time to me ... .]

The cake had competition at the brunch: this was a big year for homemade cakes. Those I could identify include a chocolate swiss cake roll as a buche de Noel, my late mother's sour cream coffee cake (made by my sister, in this case), what appeared to be a pumpkin bread with currants, and our hosts' daughter's blueberry tea cake. We left about 1/3 of our cake when we departed the party, but there was still a group of 10 college- and grad-school-age party-goers playing Cards Against Humanity in the front parlor, so we may never see the remaining cake again!

This entry is also posted at Dreamwidth. Comment at either location, as you prefer.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
oonaseckar
Jan. 2nd, 2015 08:33 am (UTC)
Sounds yummy! *hungry* I love apple cake, esp. with custard. I don't know about 'evenish', you sound pretty methodical and technically minded in your kitchen-based endeavours to me. Maybe it's all comparative! 'Evenish' is a great word, though.
lady_ganesh
Jan. 4th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)
That sounds delish.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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