One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.
Laurie Colwin

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Apple Torte

Adapted from the Original Plum Torte in The New Elegant but Easy Cookbook by Marian Burros

Apple Torte

1 stick unsalted butter, softened, or brown butter* (beurre noisette)
¾ cup plus 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar (half regular granulated, half light brown)
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
3 peeled apples, 2 cut into small cubes and 1 sliced
½ cup golden raisins covered with dark rum (I use Goslings Black Seal)
½ cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoon cinnamon or more to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small pan cover the raisins with dark rum. Plump the raisins by bringing the rum to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, and let the raisins sit in the hot rum for a few minutes. (This can be done in a ramekin in the microwave.)

Cream the butter (whatever you are using - 1 stick unsalted softened butter or beurre noisette*) with the ¾ cup of sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, eggs, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the butter, and beat to mix well. Stir in the cubed apples, raisins, and walnuts.

Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Cover the top with the sliced apples in a circle. Mix the remaining teaspoon cinnamon with the remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar, and sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and let cool a little.

This cake is good plain and even better topped with vanilla ice cream, cinnamon ice cream, softly whipped cream, or thick Greek yogurt.

*To make brown butter (beurre noisette), cook the butter in a pan until it turns golden brown and has a delicious nutty flavor. Just make sure not to let it go past the golden stage until it burns, in which case you will have to start over.

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