One of the best recipes I learned to make from my mother-in-law is her torta di mela. She sometimes makes a torta di mela e prugne, or apple and plum cake. Teresa is quite the baker and there usually are not any recipes to follow. Since apple desserts are my favorites, I have to see that this is apple and plum cake is one of my all-time favorite cakes!
Teresa has her favorite recipes memorized and she whips them up in her tiny kitchen with fervor and ease. Although my in-laws made me feel a part of the family from the first day they met me, Teresa's recipes were not a part of the deal! At least not in the very beginning. It took time and trust for Teresa to start to bake with me and to share some of her culinary secrets. I think it was when she saw that I wasn't making her precious son just pancakes every day (yes, she thought we were eating pancakes for breakfast and lunch), she started to have faith in me and realized I was worthy of sharing some of her ideas and treasured creations.
This is another version of the apple cake Teresa usually makes. She sometimes makes it with butter, and it is quite amazing! This version is with olive oil and yogurt. You could use vegetable if you don't like the flavor of the olive oil (I use extra virgin olive oil).
This recipe is adapted from my rustic apple cake.
Some more apple inspirations for you:
Apple Orange Marmalade Crostata
- 1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- juice and zest of one lemon (I used Meyer)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
- 2 medium apples, peeled and cored
- 4 plums, pitted and sliced into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan with removable bottom. Dice one apple and slice the other apple into thin slices (reserve these slices to place on top of cake batter before baking). Add the apple pieces and slices into a small bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over it; set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Toss in the lemon zest and with your hands, mix it into the flour mixture to release the lemon essence.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until creamy (about 5 minutes). Beat in the olive oil and the yogurt. Mix well.
- Add flour mixture into the yogurt mixture a half up at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula and mix well after every addition.
- Mix the diced apple and plum pieces into the batter. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices over the batter.
- Sprinkle the turbinado sugar and thin pats of butter on top of the cake and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Check cake at about 40 minutes. Every oven is different. If cake is browning, cover with aluminum foil for remainder of baking time. Let cool for about 20 minutes before removing from cake pan. Best served warm.