I've been a fan of Dorie Greenspan's for some years now. With her book "Paris Sweets" in hand, I spent a few weeks in Paris during the spring of 2009 searching out the pastry shops from whence the recipes came and then making and comparing my results with the shops' products. I only made it through a portion of the book, but it was great fun and a terrific way to visit the many wonderful pâtisseries à Paris. I hope to resume the project some day.
At long last I finally got off my duff and subscribed to Dorie's blog in which the current focus is her new book "Baking Chez Moi". I was slated to make dessert for a family supper at my brother's this past weekend, and my interest was piqued by the "Custardy Apple Squares" video and recipe.
What a simple and delicious dish! Here it is in all of its golden glory.
Dorie recommends using Fuji apples, so I followed her lead. I think this is actually the first time I've baked with Fuji's, and they worked beautifully in this recipe. With so many apple varieties available, it can be somewhat dizzying to decide which ones to use. For example when I make chausson aux pommes, I like to use Granny Smith, diced and sautéed in a little butter and vanilla sugar before assembly. The tart apples marry so nicely with the buttery puff pastry. Whereas when making an apple tart, I often use a mixture of Macintosh or Macoun with Golden Delicious. With those apples there is a pleasant flavor and texture combo going on that I find very appealing.
Here we go. I'm calling this a custard apple cake. It's rather clafoutis-like and trés simple!
Butter an eight inch cake pan. Heat the oven to 400º.
The ingredients couldn't be more straight forward: flour, baking powder, egg, sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla extract, milk, melted butter and, of course, three peeled, cored and thinly sliced apples.
Whisk 1/2 cup flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder. In a separate bowl whisk 2 eggs with 1/3 cup sugar and a pinch of salt; blend in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 6 tablespoons of milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter; fold in the dry ingredients, then the apples to coat them in the mixture.
Heat the oven to 400ºF. Scrape the apple mixture into the prepared pan . . .
and arrange the apples, if you must . . . .
This baked about 40-45 minutes in my convection oven. I looked for the filling to be set and the apples to be oh so golden brown before calling it done.
After about 15 minutes I turned the cake out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. You have the option of serving it still warm, but, since Steve and I were transporting it elsewhere, I opted to serve at room temperature.
Before serving I gave it a dusting of powdered sugar . . .
then portioned and garnished with a dollop of crème chantilly and a sprinkling of nutty granola and toasted sliced almonds.
Yes indeed! Thanks Dorie!!