The Apple of My Eye –
I have always been a sucker for anything with apples – so it is not surprising that ITALIAN APPLE CAKE would find its way into my writing about Italian food. As a little girl, I always looked forward to fall when my mother, Loretta, used the bushels full of apples that my father brought home in so many recipes. Her apple pie is still the very best I have ever tasted even after all these years. One thing she made that I always looked forward to was apple cake. The aroma filled the kitchen and escaped through the screen door and down the driveway. I was overjoyed when that apple scent found me as I arrived home from school. She made many types of apple cake. Some of the best she called Jewish Apple Cakes, as the recipes were given to her by her many Jewish friends who were great cooks. One of my very favorites was my Aunt Antoinette’s Apple Cake which Loretta made every fall without fail. It was very tall and full of apples and spice.
The ITALIAN APPLE CAKE that I present here is a simple one that is based on the rustic Tuscan style. Apples are abundant in Tuscany. Orchards are everywhere and found on the properties of many Tuscan homes. Their blossoms contribute to the exceptional honey that comes from the region.
This is so easy to make and satisfies the yearning for apples that we all feel when the leaves begin to fall and the temperatures drop. It is not exceptionally sweet and allows the apples and even some almond flavor to shine. You will want to make this one again and again.
ITALIAN APPLE CAKE
Makes: one 9” cake
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50-55 minutes
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 C. Ground Almonds (grind them finely in a food processor)
3/4 C. Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
3 Eggs – beaten
1/2 C. Whole Milk
1 1/2 Sticks Butter – melted
1 Tsp. Almond Extract
Zest of one fresh lemon
2 Peeled Golden Delicious Apples – sliced thinly – for top of cake (You may have some of the apples leftover – depending on their size.)
1 Peeled and sliced Golden Delicious Apple for inside the cake ( Again – depending on apple size you may have some left over – so EAT THEM!)
Amaretto or Frangelico Liqueur for drizzle (optional)
A few whole Almonds for garnish if you like
Butter a 9 inch springform pan.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, sugar, and baking powder.
In food processor or mixer, mix beaten eggs, milk, melted butter, extract, and lemon zest.
Add the dry ingredients from the bowl to the food processor or mixer and mix well.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Then add some of the one sliced apple on the top of the batter. Keep the apples away from the edge of the pan. Leave a little rim of batter around the edge.
Pour the rest of the batter over the top covering the apples completely.
Place the sliced two apples over the top of the batter in concentric circles. You probably won’t need all of the slices.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until done.
Remove cake from the oven and drizzle it while still hot with the liqueur – if you choose to use it.
Garnish with a few Almonds if you like.
Let cool and remove the outside of the springform pan.
This ITALIAN APPLE CAKE is especially delicious warm!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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