A good rule for being confident in cooking is using fresh and seasonal ingredients: this little trick significantly increases the probability of obtaining a great result (see reason #8 of “The 10 funny (but true) reasons why you are a disastrous cook“). And since apple season is just around the corner (see this very useful chart for year 2016), I would love to share with you another precious family recipe that makes the most of all these delicious apples, and is guaranteed to amaze your family or guests. And if you still have leftover apples after making this, remember these other two delightful recipes: “Apple crumble pie” and “Golden Apple muffins”
This scrumptious apple coffee cake is almost totally made out of apples (about 2 or more pounds of apples for a 9″ round pan) and few other ingredients. It takes about an hour to be prepared. Most of that time is the tedious work of peeling and cutting the apples. With the use of a food processor the dough will be ready in the blink of an eye! As for the taste, this fluffy, moist, fragrant pie is perfectly suited for a tea/coffee snack, or considering the strange similarity to “brioches“, Italians opt for it as a perfect sweet and “light” breakfast, or, sided by a warm custard and sprinkled with sliced almonds could also be served as a fancy dessert.
INGREDIENTS for a 9″ round pan
about 4-5 apples (better if Golden Apples) – 4-5 mele Golden
1 stick plus 1 tbs. warm unsalted butter (9 tbs.) – 130 gr. burro
2 eggs – 2 uova
1 yolk – 1 tuorlo
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour – 200 gr. farina
2 Tbs. baking powder – 1 bustina di lievito per dolci
2/3 cup sugar – 150 gr. zucchero
2 tsp. almond (or orange) extract – 2 cucchiaini aroma alla mandorla o arancia
juice of 1 lemon (to prevent apple slices from browning/oxidizing) – il succo di un limone
3 Tbs. warm milk – tre cucchiai di latte tiepido
1 pinch of sea salt – 1 pizzico di sale
about 2-3 Tbs. apricot preserves – 2-3 cucchiai circa di marmellata di albicocche
(To assemble the cake use a springform cake pan) – meglio usare una tortiera a cerniera
optional: almond slices or powdered sugar to decorate – facoltativi delle mandorle a lamelle o zucchero a velo per decorare
Remove the butter and the eggs from the fridge at least 20 minutes before making the cake. You need those at room temperature. Butter the pan and sprinkle with flour (or breadcrumbs). Peel the apples, cut them in two, remove the core and slice three of them in thin slices and cut the rest in small cubes (just to be sure about the proportions between slices and cubes, I usually arrange the apples slices in the bottom of the pan, and when it looks totally covered I start cutting cubes instead).
Move the sliced apples into a colander and cover them with lemon juice, to prevent them from oxidizing.
Put the apple cubes and add 2 tbs. of butter in small pan and cook them at medium heat for about 5-8 minutes, until they become golden, stirring sometimes.
Pre-heat the oven at 365 F (180 C.).
In the mean time you are cooking the apple’s cubes, in your food processor combine, in order:
a) the remaining butter (should be 7 tbs.) with the sugar and a pinch of sea salt;
b) then the 2 eggs and 1 yolk plus the flavoring you picked (almond or orange);
c) next add the flour sifted with 2 Tbs. of baking powder;
d) finally, add three Tbs. of warm milk (not too hot! you don’t want to mess up the rising process and/or cook the dough’s eggs!) that will make the dough liquid enough to be poured in the pan.
Now that the dough is ready, pour a thin layer of it on the bottom of the pan (just enough to not let free spot).
Then, spread out evenly the cooled off apple’s cubes.
Cover the cubes with all the remaining dough and dry the apple slices very well with a paper towel.
Decorate the cake arranging neatly the apple slices and few apricot preserve flakes.
Bake the cake for abut 50 minutes making sure the cake doesn’t burn on top. The right way to make sure your cake is ready is pinching it in the middle with a teeth stick. If the stick come out of the cake dirty with dough it means the cake it’s not ready (so cover the top of it with an aluminum foil and cook it for few more minutes). Before to eat the cake, good rule (according to my mom) is to allow the cake to cool on the inside. On the opposite side, I love eating it still warm!!! To not ruin the estethic of the cake, though, better taking it out of the spring pan only when it is completely cooled off.
By the way, whatever you decide to serve it, I highly recommend to sprinkle it with almond slices or (and this options suits better kids tastes) dust with powdered sugar. The apotheosis would be serving it with few tbs. of warm custard aside, but I understand that would mean more work!
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
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– Be very careful with this cake: it could be really addictive! At my house, when I make it, it lasts no more than 24 hours! I’m warning you just because even if the fluffy consistency of the cake could lure you to think that it is a light one, well, considering the amount of butter in it, don’t yield to temptation of more than two slices in a row ;-).