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French Crab Apple Cake

September 11, 2011

I’m realizing more and more how partial I am to recipes that don’t rely on the stand mixer to complete. Though I love her so, there’s something a bit more zen about whisking and blending and folding by hand (which is what I’ve been doing since 6:30 am today). So for this bake-off challenge, I picked a new recipe (Dorie Greenspan’s French Apple Cake, via David Lebovitz) based in part on the simple technique. I also loved the fact that her recipe let the apples sing. No cinnamonny sweet filling for them to soak into, no crumble topping for them to hide under, just fresh crisp apples with a bit of cake to bind them together (oh, and a bit of rum. did I mention the rum? there are 3 tablespoons of rum in the batter, and all three of them are necessary. don’t. skimp. on. the rum.).

I swapped out the large apples in favor of a bunch of crispy petite crab apples from Sweetland Orchard which worked great

Farmers Market Tip: If you don’t see exactly what you were expecting to buy, strike up a conversation and ask about the fruit (or veggies) you’re about to procure. Tell them what you’re planning on making. If you’re open to suggestions, odds are they’ll steer you in a great new direction you hadn’t thought of based on a far superior knowledge of their product. That’s how I came to bake with crab apples today.

They may have been a bit more work than dealing with four large apples,

but they kept their shape beautifully,

and yielded a gorgeous cake (thank you spring form pan!) that was all about the apple.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2011 2:29 pm

    This looks amazing and is such a good idea – knowing what to do with crab apples can sometimes be a little difficult. Thanks for sharing

    • September 12, 2011 5:35 pm

      Thanks for visiting; glad you enjoyed the post! These crab apples may very well be my favorite new apple. So crisp and sweetly tart, I can recommend them highly enough.

  2. September 12, 2011 2:25 pm

    Lovely pics. You can’t go wrong with Greenspan via Lebovitz. I wonder if it would be that bad to leave the peels on the crab apples.

    • September 12, 2011 5:36 pm

      Thanks Gretchen! I’m officially in love with those crab apples. (and totally game for trying the cake with the peels on. I’ll let you know how it goes)

  3. September 18, 2011 12:18 pm

    This looks soooo good. The last picture of the cake with the grain in the background is gorgeous!

    • September 18, 2011 12:23 pm

      Thanks Nicole! (and great to meet you in person yesterday!) I love shooting food in the middle of my garden, though I’m sure the neighbors are beginning to think I’m a bit nuts. 🙂

  4. May 31, 2016 5:24 pm

    I am about to try this and promise I will. Not. Skimp. On. The. Rum!

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