It’s officially fall, and that means all sort of yummy new foods at the market stands. Although I am sad (almost heartbroken) to bid adieu to peaches, nectarines, melons and all those other wonderful summer fruits, I am equally excited to usher in the fall produce. I saw my first chestnuts at the market today. And apples galore! I recently made an apple pie while staying with the French family (I wrote all about them in a recent post). I was working without a recipe as they had no internet at their house so it was a bit of a baking adventure. They assure me that the result was delicious, but I don’t think it was the greatest representation of the grand apple pie. Especially not after I’d built it all up by saying things like “You can’t get more American than apple pie” as I clumsily led the girls through the process of measuring and mixing. I would like to blame the failure on the girls’ overzealous kneading of the dough, but the fault can only lie with this humbled American. So I’ll just have to duck into Apple Pie soon to get my fix of the real stuff made by a professional! However, I’ve recently had better luck with a baked apple dish…
For the cake
250ml (1 cup) whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt
200g (1 cup) sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a good pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste/extract
1 tablespoon light rum (I didn’t have rum and the cake was fine without it, but alcohol always boosts flavor so if you have it on hand use it!)
For the topping
4 apples, sliced in thin wedges
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
the zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), line the bottom of a round 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil, and rum. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together — don’t overwork the dough. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
In a separate bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and zest. Arrange the apples lovingly on the top of the cake batter. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Evenly distribute the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes, and transfer onto a rack to cool.
*The wonderful thing about yogurt cakes is that you can add just about anything to the top of them (or mixed inside of them). This is something I’ll definitely be experimenting with more in the future. If you try a yogurt cake chez vous, please share!