Travel to Italy

Travel to Italy
Travel to Italy

Italian Recipes

Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Usha’s Apple Cake


applecake1
I am constantly searching for unique apple desserts. It’s been a hobby of mine for many years. I’ve been reading this lovely book by Jessica Theroux, Cooking with Italian Grandmothers. It’s one of the many beautiful books in my ever-growing pile of cookbooks I try to read.

Jessica had my dream job. She went to Italy and lived with Italian grandmothers all across the beautiful country.  She cooked and baked with them. She ate with them. I really like this book and am enthralled by every story.

Niente importa davvero e la vita e’ sempre come un sogno. Nothing really matters and life is always a dream. (Cooking with Italian Grandmothers)

This particular part of the book has a story about a lady named Usha that lives in Senigallia. Senigallia is in the Le Marche region. Jessica says, ‘The atmosphere at Usha’s house was one of peace, touched with a slight agricultural buzz from the surrounding farmland.” How tranquil does Usha’s place sound? Sounds like perfection to me.  Usha makes this incredible cake with Jessica.  Jessica explains how cooking with feeling and intention can have a tangible effect on the food you make. I am a firm believer that when I am not feeling the passion for a recipe, it will not be a success. How do you feel about that idea?

I LOVE this cake because at first it seems as if you are making an apple pie. You then pour this airy batter on top and it becomes an apple cake-pie hybrid.  A buttery shortbread bottom and a fluffy cake top filled with boozy raisins and moist apples is the perfect apple dessert in my opinion! I will be making this cake again and again! You should try it too.Smile

Pastry bottom:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
10 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/ large egg
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Filling:
1/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon rum (I used Limoncello)
1 lemon, juiced
4 apples
2 tablespoons finely minced almonds

For the cakey topping:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons rum (I used Limoncello)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons finely ground raw almonds

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

To prepare the pastry dough, grease a 9-inch springform cake pan with butter, and sprinkle it with a little flour to lightly coat the bottom and edges.

In the of  bowl of processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and sugar. Pulse the butter pieces and the next, the egg. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the milk, processing very briefly. The whole process would take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for about 15 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and take it out of the plastic wrap. I like to roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Flour your work surface and roll the dough out so that it is about 1 1/2 inches larger than the cake pan. Transfer the dough to the pan and press on it lightly, so that it makes contact with the bottom and sides.

Poke the bottom and sides of the dough (this helps the dough to breath while baking). Place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Apple Filling:
Place the raisins in a small bowl and pour the rum or Limoncello over them. If you prefer alcohol-free, you could soak them in lemon or orange juice. Set the raisin bowl aside. Peel and core the apples. Slice the apples into 16 wedges. Set the apples in a bowl with lemon juice and toss them around occasionally to prevent browning.

Sprinkle the bottom of the pastry dough with the minced almonds.
DSCN7602
Place the sliced apples in the pastry bottom in a concentric pattern. Fill in any large gaps with leftover pieces of sliced apples. No apples should go to waste.Smile
DSCN7603
Sprinkle the raisins over the top of the apples. Place the pan in the fridge again while you make the cakey topping. (yum, cake!Winking smile)
DSCN7604
Cakey Topping:
Stir together the sugar and melted butter. Whisk in the egg yolks and rum (or limoncello or lemon or orange juice).
DSCN7594
Sift in the flour and baking powder in small portions and stop to stir while you sift. Scrape the sites and stir in all the ingredients to make sure they are well incorporated.DSCN7597Slowly whisk in the milk and make sure lumps do not form.
DSCN7598
Stir in the 2 tablespoons of ground almonds.
DSCN7599
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
DSCN7600
Pour the batter over the apple filling. Make sure the batter reaches the edges of the pan.
DSCN7605
DSCN7606
applecake2
Add this apple cake to your recipe collection. Try it one day when you have a little extra baking time. It’s wonderful and worth the extra cake batter topping stop!

Have a great week!! Thanks for stopping by today! Don’t forget the Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers giveaway is still going on…stop by and leave a comment. You might be the lucky winner!Smile

41 comments

  1. This cake looks delicious! I love the three different components and haven't had anything like that before!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum! That looks wonderful. I love the cake-pie hybrid it's so unique!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love seeing the raisins in there. I am a huge raisin fan! Love this cake!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this how the bottom crust and top cakey envelop the apples and raisins!! Yum!! I still have apples left and golden raisins:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This made me drool! Love all the textures in this: pie crust, apples and cake! And Jessica does sound like she has the dream job! Lucky her!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, yes, I'm an apple recipe collector, too...and this is a certain winner! So chock full of delicious apples, how could it be bad???? YUM.

    ReplyDelete
  7. a delightful recipe sounds like a winner~!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your book by Jessica Theroux, Cooking with Italian Grandmothers sounds like a delightful read! This apple cake is beautiful and looks delicious. For me, it is very unique with the shortbread base and cake topping.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Don't think I ever had a cake pie before, and can't wait to try. Like all your other posts, amazing as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Omg, wat a fabulous cake, simply delicious..

    ReplyDelete
  11. That sounds like a book worth seeking out, both for the recipes as well as the stories. This looks like a wonderful apple cake, Lora.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a unique and tasy dessert! The author must have had a great time with the research for her book:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can we both go cook with Italian grandmothers? you can translate for me:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. That sounds wonderful--and what a beautiful (sounding) book, too!

    My favorite part is where you say "cooking with intention." We, more and more, are striving to live with intention and set our intentions for every part of our lives. Now, when I cook and bake, I will consciously intend that whatever I make nourish others, body and soul and that my food helps engender a sense of community.
    Another wonderful way to be mindful and present. Thank you for that, Lora!

    ReplyDelete
  15. A unique combinations,sound so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like a good read Lora! One that I would enjoy. The cake is amazing! I love the apple, raisin and rum filling - those flavors were made for each other. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is so unique! I love the story behind it! Thanks for always posting such great recipes! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a wonderfully interesting cake/pie and a lovely story. Never seen anything like it. looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  19. How interesting! I have never seen or eaten anything quite like this, and I have to say I am fascinated!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Lora...I want to try this out..DEFINITELY!!! I did something like this sometime back. It is called Grandmother's Applepiecake :) ( Russian one I think ) You must try this too then if you are going around collecting apple cake :)

    http://elinluv.blogspot.com/2009/04/russian-grandmothers-apple-pie-ake.html

    I am going to try this Italian Grandma's applecake for sure. Thanks Lora for the recipe.

    Have a nice day Lora,
    Elin

    ReplyDelete
  21. This sounds amazing..what a lovely cake, looks so moist and delicious! Thanks for sharing, and have a lovely night!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lora...by the way, I will try to get the book too. I think I will like it from the way you describe it...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love your cakes! I saw your comment on Roxana's, no I'm not stalking you, okay maybe a little. I totally agree with Jessica, when I'm not feeling it things don't come out as well. I was just thinking of using apples. Hope you are doing much better.
    -GIna-

    ReplyDelete
  24. This looks soooo good! It's such a "homey" kind of cake, comfort food at its best. This is screaming for a cup of coffee. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I agree- this apple cake is a special one, thanks so much for sharing your recipe here;-)
    My pile of cookbooks is growing too, it's getting harder to find what I'm looking for in the huge pile;-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. This sounds delicious. I love the idea of the 3 layers. I bet it would be pretty for me to adapt it to a gluten-free version!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yum! What an interesting recipe, kind of makes me want to adopt an Italian grandmother!

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is a winner!
    The photos are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Looks very grandmotherly! In a warm, friendly, comfortable way! I love apple desserts and will check that book out soon!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I, too am always on the prowl for apple desserts! Love the ground almonds - such a tasty Italian touch! And like the almost-cake consistency. I am going to keep an eye out for the book - the premise is indeed what I believe - cooking with passion does add flavor!

    ReplyDelete
  31. "cooking with feeling and intention can have a tangible effect on the food you make" that is exactly what happens in "Like water for chocolate" :) this pie-cake-deliciousness looks amazing! I just ordered this book. Couldn't help it ;) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yum yum YUM!

    http://www.alittlenosh.net

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sounds like one of those classic baked recipes. A keeper.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I adore a good apple cake. The moisture always makes them so light (though, no less rich) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love apple desserts, and my God do I love this cake...it looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a great idea! Apple pie and apple cake. Looks soooo good. If it weren't for the almonds, I'd be all over it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love the idea of a hybrid cake! ;)
    It looks simple and scrumptious!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Pie/cake combination sounds fantastic! I love apple desserts and this one look likes a definite winner :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Pastry, apples filling, and cake! Oh wow! Love the quote "Nothing really matters and life is always a dream."

    ReplyDelete
  40. I LOVE apple desserts but this sounds incredible! The idea of a cake and pie together makes me drool. I wish I had this right now for breakfast. It looks sooooooo good! :)

    ReplyDelete