Author Notes: The first time I made this was when I had an overabundance of apples from an apple picking trip. I was determined to make something with more apples and less bread. This is also excellent with brandy or calvados instead of rum. This comes out wonderfully crumbly and tender, although make sure to allow enough cooling time otherwise the cake may fall apart to much to slice. Serving this with a your favorite ice cream, gelato or whipped cream is essential!
Food52 Review: When we tasted colombedujour's apple cake, our first thought was: this is an apple cake for grownups. Rich and buttery, delightfully boozy and chock full of tender apple pieces, this cake is a sophisticated ending to a fall meal. The recipe calls for ground almonds instead of flour (we tried regular and blanched almonds, and both were good). Maple sugar, which has the same molasses tones as brown sugar, is drier and helps keep the cake from being soggy. Folding whipped egg whites into the batter (a technique that reminded us of making French macaroons) keeps it from being too dense. We used both an 8-inch and a 9-inch springform and found we liked the results with the 9-inch better. If you do use an 8-inch pan, you may want to cook the cake for a bit longer than suggested so that the fruit is tender throughout.
2 granny smith apples
juice of one lemon
3/4 cup maple sugar(you may substitute cane sugar or muscovado is great)
6 ounces butter
3 organic eggs
1 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Rum, Brandy or Calvados
Confectioner's sugar for dusting
preheat oven at 300 F. Butter an 8 inch spring form cake pan with a removeable base.
peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut 2 of the quarters into thin slices, toss in a bowl with a splash of lemon juice and set aside.
Slice the remaining apple quarters more thickly into cubes. In another bowl, toss with a splash of lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon maple sugar and set aside for 10 minutes.
Cream the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and then incorporate the ground almonds and baking powder, working the mixture as little as possible to keep it light. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold half into the cake mixture and then fold in the remainder. Add the rum, and any juice given out by the thicker chunks of apple. Gently fold the chunks into the mixture. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface.
Drain the reserved finely sliced apple and arrange on top of the cake, fanning out the apple slices in a circle. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave it to cool for several hours before serving. If you'd like to serve it warm you may reheat it. It keeps well in a covered container and can be reheated to serve warm later. Dust the cake with confectioner's sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.