Seriously, this may be my favorite dessert ever. After cookies and cream ice cream, that is. No really, I have taken this don’t-take-your-mother’s-advice thing way too far. She, I mean my mother — (Liza hates to be referred to as a pronoun) — has been telling me to make this cake for years, well at least since 2004, when the New York Times printed the recipe.
I baked this cake this morning, ate one quarter of it for lunch, and another quarter for dinner. I’m tempted to include a picture of the half-eaten cake in this post, but am too embarrassed. I don’t know what else to say. It’s moist, delicious, seasonal and can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or dinner. I mean it. Make it!
Balzano Apple Cake
Yield 8 servings
Adapted from New York Times 2004
- 1 stick butter, plus more for greasing pan
- parchment paper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 Fuji apples
- ½ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt such as fleur de sel
- ½ cup milk at room temperature
- powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease a nine-inch-circle pan with butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place inside pan.
- Melt butter in small saucepan. Set aside. Beat together eggs and half of sugar in a bowl. Continue to beat while slowly adding remaining sugar until thick — it should form a ribbon when dropped from spoon.
- Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds into the egg-sugar mixture and add pod to melted butter.
- Peel apples and cut straight down around the core into four big chunks. Discard the core then slice the apple pieces thinly.
- Remove vanilla pod from butter and discard. Stir butter into sugar-egg mixture. Combine flour, salt and baking powder, then stir into batter alternating with the milk. Stir in apples, coating every piece with batter. Pour batter into pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then rotate the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, until cake pulls away from pan and is brown on top. (A thin-bladed knife inserted into the center will come out clean when it is done.) Cool 30 minutes, then cut into wedges sprinkling each with powdered sugar if desired.