One of my favorite Fall traditions is going to pick apples at a local orchard every year. Apples are such an interesting fruit to me. I did not grow up eating apples, they were kind of a luxury really, because they were imported and expensive. There are so many varieties and so many different things you can make with apples, that every new discovery is always exciting. I am sharing a recipe that I’ve been making for many years now. It is adapted from the book Savoring Italy by Michele Scicolone (a wedding present). I have made many recipes from this book. I love the feeling when I open a page and it has old stains or some hand written notes; it reminds me how much I love a recipe. This book has many pages like that 🙂
Our Sunday adventure started with a visit to Door Creek Orchard, with a little cold wind but sunny and nice enough to enjoy the beautiful colors of the fall. You give the kids the liberty to pick as many apples as they want and 17 pounds of apples later you are wondering how in the world you are going to use all these apples! Right away the kids knew they wanted “that” apple cake that mama makes every year, so we get home and get ready to start baking. I love my little helpers and the excitement they get to eat the final product.
This Buttery Apple Cake is simple enough that the kids can help. I do the cooking of the apples and let them take turns mixing in the rest of the ingredients. Another perk of this recipe, no need of special equipment. The melted butter gives this cake a beautiful golden finish. You’ll find apples on every bite and the warmth of the allspice will have your house smelling like Autumn for few hours. The tiny bit of limoncello (optional) gives it a little “what is that?” taste factor. If you have a lazy Sunday this fall bake yourself some Apple Cake!
(makes a 9inch round cake)
1 Stick of butter + 1 Tbsp.
3 Medium size Golden Delicious and 1 Cortland
apples, peeled, cored & cut into slices
1 Tablespoon Limoncello* (optional)
2/3 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Melt the rest of the butter in a frying pan over low heat. Take 6 tablespoons of the melted butter into a small cup and set aside. Add the sliced apples to the butter remaining in the frying pan and cook, stirring occasionally, after 2 minutes add the limoncello and let cook until the apples are tender but still have a little bite, about 8 more minutes.
In the meantime using a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice and lemon zest (if using). In a large bowl beat the eggs until blended. Add the six tablespoons of melted butter, vanilla and sugar, mixing well. Add the flour mixture and the cooked apples, stir to combine (don’t over mix). Spoon over the prepared cake pan, smooth the top and tap few times on the counter to let the air bubbles out.
Bake until the cake is browned and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let rest for 5 minutes before inverting into a plate. Let cool completely. It can be served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
*Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur. The one I used in this recipe is homemade by our friend Peter. You can certainly substitute for orange liqueur.