Italian Apple Cake (Torta di Mele)

applecakeThis Italian apple cake is grain and gluten-free. It has very little butter in it, but it’s still ridiculously moist. It’s delicious right out of the oven, after it’s cooled a bit, but also when it’s been in the refrigerator overnight. Author Sarah Fioroni recommends serving it with ice cream but the cake is really quite sweet, so I don’t think it’s needed. I did, however, find that a big scoop of Greek yogurt was a nice addition on top of a leftover slice I had for breakfast (plus it added some protein)


*Butter and flour for dusting the pan (I used almond flour)
*3 eggs
*1 cup sugar (200 g; I used organic, fair-trade sugar)
*1 1/2 cups almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand); or use 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour as called for in the original recipe
*1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk (I used raw milk)
*2 1/2 tablespoons (40 ml) butter, melted (I used organic, grass-fed butter)
*2 teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla
*3 medium apples, about 1 3/4 pounds (800 g), peeled, cored, and cut into wedges 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick: Granny Smith apples work well
*Powdered sugar as garnish
*Vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter and flour an 8-inch spring form pan, tapping the pan to remove excess flour; set aside.
3. Combine the eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium high speed for 5 minutes, until pale yellow in color and thickened. Gradually add the flour, milk, and butter, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat at low speed until each addition is blended, then increase speed to medium high and beat for 3 minutes. Add the baking powder and vanilla and beat an additional 2 minutes to blend well.
4. Turn batter out into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices vertically, with the core side down, in concentric circles in the batter, beginning with the outside edge of the pan and continuing to the center. The arrangement of the apples should resemble a rose in full bloom.
5. Bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and apples are lightly browned (I may have underbaked the cake just a tad which is why it was so moist…definitely don’t let it overbake).
6. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan. To serve, cut the warm cake into slices, then scatter powdered sugar over each serving. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Adapted just a bit from A Family Farm in Tuscany: Recipes and Stories from Fattoria Poggio Alloro.

Yield: Makes one 8-inch cake, about 8 servings


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