Monday, April 28, 2014

French apple cake and the Cannes jury

French apple cake / Bolo francês de maçã

One thing that always makes me curious is the Cannes Jury, especially the president – sometimes it means nothing special, sometimes the Palme d'Or can sound a little too political, and sometimes it can be a complete surprise.

This year Jane Campion will be president of the jury, which to me is very exciting news for two reasons: a) she’s a woman, and that is only the ninth time that has happened, and b) she’s a director I really admire. Willem Dafoe and Nicolas Riding Hefn are part of the jury, too, and I find that a wonderful choice, both of them being known for things that can’t be called conservative – always a great thing on my book.

And since we’re talking about La Croisette, nothing better than a French cake to go with it: in this case, a delicious and oh, so tender cake packed with apples, both diced and sliced, with a layer of apricot jam for shine and flavor. Oh là là! :)

French apple cake
from one of my favorite books

500g eating apples – I used Gala
90g unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick, broken
4 medium eggs*
250g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (60ml) canola oil
280g all purpose flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons Calvados or rum – I used the latter
150g apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 23cm (9in) round cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Set 1 apple aside for the top, then peel, core and dice the remaining. Melt 30g of the butter in a large nonstick frying pan over gentle heat, add the diced apple and the cinnamon stick and fry for 5 minutes or until the apples are tender but not mushy. Cool. Melt the remaining butter and cool.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, pale and doubled in volume. Beat in the vanilla. fold in the butter and oil, then sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the mixture and fold in. gently fold in the lemon zest and rum, followed by the cooked apples (discard the cinnamon stick).
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Finely slice the remaining apple and arrange in three rows on the top of the batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cake is risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack.
Carefully unmold the cake, remove the paper, then transfer to a wire rack. Heat the apricot jam over medium heat until it liquefies, press it through a sieve and brush the cake with it. Let is set before serving.

* I always buy large eggs, so I chose the smallest I could find in the package to use in this recipe

Serves 10-12


Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) said...

A classic, rustic cake and oh so pretty!

Lesleyc said...

One of my favourite books too, the orange chiffon cake is sublime! Her low-carb book is also great, as is the book of soups.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lesley, I'm so glad to hear that Annie Bell's other books are good, too! I adore this one.

MANISAH said...

Pat, Seeing the picture I am sure this is really fine and delicious cake. Will definitely give this a try :-))

Patricia Scarpin said...

Dear Manisah, thank you! I hope you like the cake! xx

Glamour Drops said...

Looks sensational. It's autumn here so apples are plentiful…I think this may be on our baking schedule this weekend now thank you!

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