Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Apple Shortbread Cake

This is a plain cake that goes well with a coffee or a tea. It is sweet, but not too sweet.

Ingredients: Shortbread
2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick + 5 Tbs. unsalted butter at room temp.
1 cup + 2 Tbs sugar
1 large egg
1 large yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients: Caramelized Apples
3 apples (I used fuji)
3 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs sugar

Method: Shortbread
1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. With a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed. Beat until soft and smooth.
3. Add 1 cup of the sugar, and mix until it mixes well into the butter.
4. Reduce the speed to low, and add the egg and egg yolk, beating until they are incorporated.
5. Beat in the vanilla extract.
6. Take the bowl out of the mixer, and using a rubber spatula add the flour mixture in until it is just incorporated.
7. Turn onto a work surface and mix in any remaining dry ingredients by hand.
8. Divide the dough into 2, and make each into a flat disk. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 15-30min.
9. Center a rack in the oven, and preheat to 350F. Lightly butter a 9 inch springform pan, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
10. Make the caramelized apples.

Method: Caramelized Apples
1. Peel and core the apples, chop in half, cut each half lengthwise into 8 slices, and then crosswise.
2. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter.
3. When the butter has melted, sprinkle over the sugar. Cook together for 1-2 min (you want the sugar to caramelize not burn, so adjust the heat accordingly).
4. Toss in the apples. Turn the apples once or twice, until they are tender but not soft (around 3-5min). They should have a golden color.
5. Transfer to a plate.

Method: Assembly
1. Work with 1 piece of dough at a time. For the bottom layer put the dough in the springform pan and spread out with finger tips until it covers the bottom of the pan.
2. Place a layer of caramelized apples on top (at this stage you can add some spices if you like to the apples).
3. On a work surface, spread out the second piece of dough on the plastic wrap until you have a size that will cover the top of the caramelized apples.
4. Place the dough on top of the apples, and remove the plastic wrap. Use your fingers to even it out if necessary.
5. Brush the top of the cake with a little water. Sprinkle over the 2 tsp of sugar.
6. Bake for 35-40 min, or until the top of the cake is lightly golden, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Place on a cooling rack and cool for 20 min.
8. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan, and remove the sides of the pan.

Dorie Greenspan From My Home to Yours. pp. 208-9 and 408.


Cookie said...

Dear Rhid,
I'm very surprised that my comment for this post is the first one since 2007. In fact I've found your blog thanks to this cake. Some weeks ago I was roaming about the web in search of some new apple recipe (I adore apple cakes!)and when I came across the photo of this cake I loved it at once. Actually I don't know why I put it off up till this morning...
Well, today finally I've prepared it and it is REALLY GOOD! It seems a simple almost banal cake of a short pastry... carameled apples... nothing extravagant... but the perfect proportion and the clear description of the methods provide the best result. The cake is just wonderful! Very nice of appearance...goldish...shining (a good suggestion to brush the top with a little water and to sprinkle with sugar!), melting in the mouth, with a very equilibrated sour-sweet flavour. The only thing that I added to the apples was a bit of cinnamon (this is my quirk).
Thank you for this recipe! It becomes one of the favourites in my "apple collection".

rhid said...

Dear Cookie,

I'm so glad you liked it! This is one cake I really liked as well because it wasn't brilliantly 'cakey' but firmer. Thanks for trying it giving me some feedback!