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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