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Calls for cake

On a Sunday afternoon in January, it is very important to bake an apple cake.

Especially if the sun is shining, which it doesn’t often do in Seattle, and if you can open the front door for an hour or two and your dog can sit on the stoop without his tiny, ridiculous Polarfleece coat, which is a minor miracle, because he is a major sissy about cold weather. And especially if the apple cake in question is this one, with a rich, buttery base that crisps lightly at the edges, a layer of fanned-out apples, and a thin cinnamon glaze that puffs ever so gently as it bakes.

Actually, now that I’m typing this, I don’t know whether to call this thing a cake or a tart. It has elements of both, but it isn’t decisively either. The recipe comes from my friend Judy Amster, and I’m not sure what she would call it. One day last November, I ran into her at the home of her son, my friend Matthew Amster-Burton, and she pressed a folded piece of paper into my hand, explaining simply that it was the recipe for an apple dessert, and that I would love it. When Judy says that kind of thing, I listen. She has not only an encyclopedic knowledge of food, but also the most enormous cookbook collection I have ever seen. She has the kind of cookbook collection that, in some people, causes spontaneous weeping. This particular recipe, she explained, came not from her bookshelves, but from a friend of a friend in Canada, who originally got it from a Canadian magazine. It was delicious, she promised. It took me two months to find the time to try it, but I listened. I listened, Judy. I know what’s good for me.

But, yes, back to its name. How about an apple tart cake? It’s a little confusing, but it’s fitting. I like it. You can call it whatever you want, frankly. The recipe Judy gave me, printed from an e-mail, had no title at all. Instead, it began matter-of-factly with the command, “use a springform cake thingo, butter and flour it.” I love that. That’s all I needed to know, really.

The ingredients for this dessert are basic pantry staples, but I’d never made a recipe quite like it before. The base - the cake-like part - is assembled in the food processor, a mixture of sugar, flour, baking powder, butter, vanilla, and egg that you pulse until it resembles cornmeal. You dump that into your buttered, floured springform cake thingo, and you spread it evenly across the bottom. Then, atop that, you arrange thin slices of apple - preferably a tart kind, like Granny Smith - in a circular pattern, like a frilly French tart. Then you bake it for a little while, during which the apples start to soften and go fragrant, and the cake-like base begins to firm. Then you pull it from the oven and spoon over it a topping of melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and egg. It looks very runny and completely wrong, but when you return it to the oven, it slowly sets, puffing just a little bit, forming an opaque, burnished glaze on top of the apples.

We ate it last night, while we watched Jaws on DVD, and that Judy, she was so right. The base was nubbly and chewy and moist, but along the very bottom and the outer edges, it crisped like the edge of an oatmeal cookie. The apples on top were soft and juicy, and the cinnamon topping lay over it all like a thin blanket, maybe cashmere with satin trim, binding the whole thing under the warmth of cinnamon. I loved it. And today, when I had another slice after lunch, it was even better. It had mellowed overnight, relaxing its sweetness and letting the apple flavor come to the fore. I was hoping to save some for a special inauguration-watching breakfast tomorrow - a new president definitely, definitely, calls for cake - but I just ate the last pieces after dinner, so I guess that won’t be happening. Unless I get up early to bake another one. Which I might.

P.S. Hey, speaking of the inauguration, I’m looking into the possibility of going to Washington, DC, on my book tour in March, and I need your help. I need to know how many of you might come to an event there, if I did do one. It would likely be held in the evening during the week of March 16, at one of my brother’s restaurants: DC Coast, Ten Penh, Ceiba, or Acadiana. DC will probably be my only East Coast stop, so if you think you might want to come, leave a comment here, and please don’t be shy. It would be so nice to meet you.

P.P.S. The DC event has now been confirmed! You people are the greatest. Click over here for more information.

Apple Tart Cake
Adapted from Judy Amster’s friend

For this cake, it is particularly important that your oven temperature is accurate. If it runs too hot, the base of the cake could burn before the apples are fully cooked, and the topping, too, could burn before it has time to set.

Also, if your apples aren’t terribly tart, you might consider reducing the sugar in the base a little bit, down from 1 cup to maybe, say, ¾ cup.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into a few pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly

For topping:
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment, combine the sugar, flour, and baking powder. Pulse to mix. Add the butter, and pulse until no large lumps remain. Add the vanilla and the egg, and blend well, until it resembles cornmeal. Dump it into the prepared springform pan. Nudge it around with your fingertips to distribute it evenly, and then gently press it along the bottom of the pan. You’re not trying to really tamp it down; you just want to compact it a little. At the edges, let it curve up ever so slightly, like a tart shell with a very low, subtle rim. Arrange the apple slices over the base in a tight circular pattern. It may seem as though you have too many apple slices to fit, but keep going. Really squeeze them in. Slide the pan into the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk to blend well. After the cake has baked for 45 minutes, remove it from the oven, and spoon the topping evenly over it. Bake for another 25 minutes or so, until the topping looks set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and cool for 20 minutes. Then run a thin knife around the edge to release any areas that may have stuck, and remove the sides of the pan. Cool completely before serving.

Note: This cake is even better on the second day. So if you can, make it a day ahead: just wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature until you’re ready to eat it. We ate ours plain, but I think it would be great with vanilla ice cream.

Yield: about 8 servings


Blogger Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Yep. Apple cake, sunny afternoon, Seattle... I totally agree.
I, however, didn’t have this recipe, so I baked a Babka with chocolate and halva and nuts (it’s a yeast cake). The recipe makes 2 cakes! And the house smells amazing. My son (5 years old) is doing an “I’m about to faint” scene every time he helps me make a yeast dough. And wants to eat it as is, raw (can you call an uncooked dough “raw”?)

10:57 PM, January 19, 2009  
Blogger deborah said...

molly, you're a gem! how fitting since the dessert for the inaugural lunch is an apple sponge cake so i think this would be perfect for watching the ceremony on tv... even at 3am in australia!

11:04 PM, January 19, 2009  
Blogger Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

oh, I miss Judy. Will you give her a hug for me?

And, I think I just discovered Cameron's birthday cake. May need to buy a few more 'thingos' to make enough for 50 people, but I've always wanted a few in different sizes.

11:26 PM, January 19, 2009  
Blogger Snooky doodle said...

This cake tart looks yummy I ll try it next time I have apples :) thanks for sharing. If I wasn't that far away I would be glad to come. Pity I cannot :(

11:28 PM, January 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha, Sunday morning I had to bake apple streusel muffins! The not so great for eating apples in the fridge combined with lots of fragrant cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg, with a buttery caramelized edge.

Your cake reminds me of kuchen cakes I have made, but never with the added butter topping. Or the Hayday Market fruit torte.


(my secret word: reate!)

11:31 PM, January 19, 2009  
Blogger Gemma said...

That sounds perfect. I love my 'thingos' but my boyfriend hates washing them up for me (I cook and he washes dishes). I am very jealous of your January sun as it has been alternating between freezing cold and pouring with rain in London. Your post has just reminded me that sunnier days can't be too far off though.

11:38 PM, January 19, 2009  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh, the irony... I recently gave away my springform pan to a friend who loves to bake cheesecake, as I had never used the thing in the entire 11 years I owned it. And now you publish this, and make me sigh for that pan. :)

1:29 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger kingindc said...

DC? Yay! I would be there in a heartbeat, and I'd bring my friends!

3:40 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous abs said...

hi molly, what would you do if you didn't have a food processer? do you think i could mix the batter up by hand? or with a stick blender? or should i just make something else? thanks!

3:41 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger emily said...

I would definitely try to come if you make a visit to DC. That would be great!

3:54 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Sunday afternoons do often call for baking... this Sunday, for me, was more of a lemon yogurt cake day, but I'll put this apple tart cake on the list for next weekend. I would LOVE to get to Washington, DC but I think it might be just a touch too far for me to drive... if you made it to New York I would be a definite!

3:55 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Emily said...

Molly, as a Philadelphia resident, I was tempted to Amtrak it down to DC- my hometown- for President Obama's inauguration today. Bitter cold, massive crowds, and he fact that my parents have let out my room to their college buddies all converged to keep me at home in front of the TV- which is probably better anyway because I have a delicious meyer lemon cake to keep me company. I have to say though that I would happily make the train ride if it was the only East Coast chance for me to hear you read from your new book. Better yet- contact Jill Ross, owner of The Cookbook Stall in Philadelphia's historic Reading Terminal Market and tell that publisher of yours to put BOTH cities on the list.

4:19 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

This sounds so good. Maybe next Sunday...
I'd love to see you in DC in March!

4:20 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

If this is at all like that apple tart---(http://mamasminutia.blogspot.com/2008/10/interrupting-myself.html) ----that you posted about, then I am sold/done for/a goner.

Wait! I think there are a couple Granny Smiths lounging down in the basement. Could it be true? If so, we WILL have cake at our party!


4:31 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Andrea said...

Please try to visit NY--you have a lot of fans here!

4:51 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Dragana said...

I'm looking for an easy apple dessert which I can teach my neigbor (who is not a cook or baker at all!) how to make. Her favorite apple is 'honeycrisp'. Do you think they could be substituted for the Grannies? Thanks for sharing this recipe. Sounds like a winner!

5:00 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger C. Lynn said...

I'm pretty sure I'll be in D.C. in mid-March visiting friends. I would love to attend an Orangette event. Keep us posted!!

5:23 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous DC Sarah said...

Oh, MOLLY! I was hoping you would come to DC on your book tour! Please please pleassseeeee come! I will certainly be at any event you host, and I know a whole bunch of people who may not post on here but would certainly come, too!

PS the cake sounds wonderful :)

5:43 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Gwen said...

I'd definitely come down to DC! And a restaurant seems much more appropriate a venue than a bookstore. :)

5:48 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous nicolette said...

no stop in ny?

5:52 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Molly, this cake looks delightful. I was inspired by your blog this weekend and made David Leite's chocolate chip cookies for our little inauguration celebration...I think a new president calls for cookies as well. :)

I live in Charlottesville, VA, just 2 hours outside of DC. I would love love love to come to an event in honor of your book, which I have already pre-ordered and expect I will have finished reading by March 16th as I know I won't be able to put it down. Please keep me updated on your plans.

5:54 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger kirsten said...

i live in Baltimore and would love to make the trek down to see you! =)

6:00 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Salt and Pepper said...

Looks delicious!

6:04 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Sarah said...

Molly, Please come to D.C. Right off the bat I can assure you I would be there with three girlfriends, though if it's your only East Coast stop I know another from Boston and one from North Carolina that would probably make the trip.

6:10 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in DC and would absolutely come to your event in DC!!!! Where will it be adverstised?

Best of Luck!

6:18 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger moi said...

It's either a take or a cart, no question. I like the idea of a cart, as you've upset the apple...

6:19 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No New York? That is so disappointing. Washington is, alas, too far away for me.

6:24 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Mandee - I Think You Should said...

Unfortunately, I left my beloved DC 8 years ago for law school, but I know that my former roommate would love to attend a book signing. And I love any excuse to return for the mushroom crusted halibut at D.C. Coast (or the chili relleno or the fried oysters)! I would love to make the trip if my schedule allowed.

6:38 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger hannah said...

tart cake! yes please. i just poured over your archives last night looking for a cake to take to a shower. i've been charged with chocolate, so it will probably be the lemon cake with ganache and the banana cake with, yep, ganache. you know it occurred to me the other night that you just might be doing a book signing in okc, and that i must be there. must.

6:40 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous jamiemac said...

Hi - I live in DC area (arlington) and would be super excited to come see you on your stop! I am new to your blog but am a huge fan! I cant wait for your book to come out.
ps- apple cake looks delicious - I will be making it today as I am stuck at home while the city is on lock down.

6:47 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Jen H said...

As a lover of all things apple this is definitely a must try!

6:48 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Emily O'Brien said...

I am excited that you might go to DC that week. I live in Boston but will be visiting a friend that week and will absolutely make it a must do event. Keep us up to date on when and where it will happen. And the cake looks delicious...

7:16 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

You know, Chicago is on the way to (or from) DC, and I'm certain I'm not the only Chicago-area reader who would love to meet you...surely there must be SOME way I can convince you to make a pit stop in the Windy City? :-) I've been known to bust out the heavy cream to convince other people to pay me a visit!

7:17 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Dan said...

Only one East Coast stop? But your fans here in Boston would love to see you! My gf and I, devoted readers both, were just in Seattle last week (I'm a transplanted Washingtonian), and we semi-seriously discussed a pilgrimage to Ballard to see the restaurant-in-progress...too bad we missed the day of nice weather out there. But seriously, come to Boston if you have time--we know both restaurateurs and bookstore owners in the area, and we could probably help to set something up, if you can fit it in.

7:30 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Michelle Stiles said...

What a gem. Living in the NW, I have a taste for anything that has fresh apples. Apple tart and sunshine, could life be better?

7:36 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Meenoo said...

I am de-lurking to say that I would definitely come to see you in DC. I've been reading your blog for several years now and love it and am very excited to read your book.

7:45 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger m.c said...

Hi Molly, love your blog!

I don't have a food processor, so do you think a regular hand mixer would do the job, or do you have any other suggestions?


7:55 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How heartbreaking! Not only that you don't have apple cake for this glorious day, but that you are going to be in Washington and I will be on the other side of the world. I have been reading Orangette for as long as I have known that food blogs existed (aka, as long as I have had an office job) from Washington, DC, and now that I am spending 9 little months in Italy, *of course* you will be making your Washington appearance. I am so sad to miss it.

7:58 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Sara said...

Tart, or cake, I've got to try this. It sounds delicious and very comforting.

Will you be making any stops in Chicago on your book tour?

7:59 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Nancy said...

Delicioso. Isn't it sort of like tarte tatin, without the bother of dropping it on the floor per the legend?

8:01 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger City Girl said...

I am in WDC and I would absolutely come to a book event for your book :) I would be happy to blog about it beforehand too. I have been reading your blog on and off since 2004 :)

8:17 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Sarah said...

Sounds wonderful! It might be from Canadian Living, a slightly frumpy magazine that redeems itself with excellent recipes.

I do hope your book tour will bring you north of the border. Vancouver is much closer than DC! :)

8:29 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger lottie said...

yeah! a new cake to try. thank you. and when your star goes global as it is sure to do, will you visit london on your european book tour?!

8:46 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Tiffany said...

What a lovely cake. What about a visit to the San Francisco Bay Area?

9:14 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This recipe reminds me of Apple Breton and I can't wait to try it. I would love to come see you in DC.

9:53 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Melanie said...

DC - sorry, no. Boston - absolutely!

10:04 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger nm said...

Apples are the thing this weekend. I made a simple tarte tatin and everyone was happy -- sugar, butter, puff pastry and apples. Yum.
I am definitely going to try this recipe this week.
Thank you Molly and Judy.

10:12 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Em said...

YES you MUST come to DC. I've sung the praises of your writing to anyone who will listen. :)

10:32 AM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Devon said...

It was SUCH a beautiful and nearly warm Sunday. Apple Tart Cake sounds like it would have been a perfect and fitting addition to the kind of weekend we had here. The tart/cake is very much a good combination of levity and weight to go perfect with days like Sunday, cold but sunny. Looks absolutely amazing.

10:46 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Buona Forchetta said...

Molly..... I'm sure this must be a touch annoying to read again, but please, Please, PLEASE come to NYC. I am considering trying to trek down to DC, but as Adrienne says it's "a touch too far for me to drive."
I can't wait to try this cake, though I must admit - I just found some perfect meyer lemons and so I'll think I'll be making a different cake of yours first. ;)

10:50 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger kickpleat said...

that cake/tart thingo sounds amazing. i'm always a bit frightened for recipes that call for a bit of assembly in a food processor (since i'm without and have bad luck), but i'll try it.

10:51 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Isabelle said...

Molly, I love your photos so much. They make me swoon. I like how the second one kind of looks like the cake is cooling on the lawn. Kind of a stubbly lawn, but at first glance that's the image I saw. And this cake sounds amazing. I should definitely fit it in to my baking schedule sometime soon. I wished I lived anywhere near Washington!

11:07 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all!

First, a few apple cake questions:

For those of you who don't have a food processor, I think I would be inclined to try making this by hand, with a pastry blender. I think that might be your best bet for getting it to that cornmeal-y texture. I don't think a mixer (either handheld or stand) would work quite right.

And Dragana, I do think you could substitute Honeycrisp apples here, for sure. But since Honeycrisps are a little sweeter than Granny Smiths, I think I might cut back on the sugar a little, if I were you - in the base, definitely, and possibly in the topping too.

And about the book tour:

Thank you for all of your feedback! You're great. My brother and I are talking about the DC plan, and I will keep you posted. And as for other East Coast cities, well, you never know. Right now, it doesn't look as though it's in the cards, but I certainly appreciate your speaking up about it. So far, the cities on the docket are Seattle (of course), Portland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Oklahoma City (my hometown), and possibly DC. I feel lucky to get to do a book tour at all, really, given this awful economy! So I can't complain too much. I would love to come to NYC - and Chicago, and Philadelphia, and Boston - but we'll just have to see.

11:18 AM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Jillian said...

Oh, that looks so good. I love an apple dessert. I wonder if I could make it gluten free?

I would definitely come out for a book signing/reading in Washington DC. As a DC-its living and working in the city, I enjoy attending that kind of thing. And your brother's restaurants are awesome! Ten Penh is my favorite.

12:04 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Yes! Please visit DC! I would definitely come to an event.

12:23 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Carmen said...

I would most definitely attend an Orangette event here in DC! :)

12:34 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anna said...

Austin, TX? Just wondering if this was on your list for the tour! Or anywhere in Texas for that matter. Where could we find your schedule?

12:38 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger gila said...

I'd come!

12:57 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Robin said...

I made this as soon as I saw the recipe, and it is fabulous! I did not even use a springform (too lazy to dig it out) and my 9" cake pan prepared with cooking spray worked perfectly. I also baked it at 325 since my oven does tend to run hot. It came out beautifully.

Next time I will reduce the sugar a bit, though, as it was *very* sweet (which might have been okay if my apples were *very* tart, which they were not). I am also considering replacing half the flour with almond meal, which I think would go very well with the apple and butter combo and make that crunch even more exquisite.

1:04 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Samantha said...

Molly...BIG fan of your blog, and part of it was the inspiration for my own fledgling foodie blog! i would LOVE it if you came to DC and make it a priority to pop my head in, grab a bite, say hi and thank you in person. Having you visit the East coast would be a wonderful spring treat.... good luck with the book!

1:08 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

Please pardon my excessive commenting on this post, but...

Robin, I really like the almond flour suggestion! That sounds amazing. For the sugar, how much would you use? 3/4 cup? I'm assuming you'd reduce the sugar in the base, not the topping?

1:24 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger michaela said...

Yesterday, it was foggy in the lower elevations, but at Crystal Mountain it was sunny, clear and mild with a goregous view of Mt. Rainier and the other moutains in the distance.

1:45 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Robin said...

Rosiecat: Yes, I'd start with 3/4 cup sugar in the base (thanks for clarifying that!) and adjust up or down from there. That way it won't throw off the proportions too badly but it may take the edge off the sweetness.

I might consider adding a pinch of salt, too (or even just salted butter), just because I tend to like a little bit of salt in most baked goods, and it might help cut the sweetness here, too. Although everyone's taste for sugar is different, and I'm sure a lot of people will find the cake perfect with the full 1 cup. It's not like I'm choking it down now, lol.

I should also note that I used organic cane sugar (the white kind, not the unprocessed type, although I wonder if throwing in some unrefined cane sugar -- like Rapadura -- might be very yummy, too, esp. in the topping).

Honestly, though, I haven't met an apple-based dessert in a long, long time that I've loved as much as this one.

1:47 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger JennyCash said...

hi molly,

my sister and i live in Baltimore, and would totally show up if you came to DC. how fun!

1:55 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Amy Goins said...

I would love to come meet you. I really enjoy your blog. Gotta run, I'm going to make that apple tart RIGHT NOW!
Amy in Northern Virgina

2:25 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this is right on time! I've been wanting to make an apple cake for a few weeks now and this sounds perfect! It's also a great way to celebrate our first snow day this winter in Raleigh, NC. Thanks!

2:27 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hi Molly-
I'm a big fan of your blog and would love to see you - as a New Yorker, I would love it even more if you made it up here!

2:47 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Elise said...

I live in DC and I'd love to go to a book event here!

2:59 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Amy said...

molly-i'm in pa-would love to go to phila-but if dc is where you will be-dc is where i will go! keep us posted on exact dates! can't wait to try the tart/cake!

2:59 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Hello again!

Jillian, I think you could make this gluten-free pretty easily. You could substitute a gluten-free flour mix for the all-purpose flour, or you could even try substituting a mix of gluten-free flour and finely ground blanched almonds (sometimes sold as almond meal), as Robin suggested.

Anna, I don't think I'll be making it to Texas, unfortunately. So sorry about that! I'll be posting a full list of events soon. When it's ready, there will be a link to it in the upper portion of the sidebar, near the links to the "About and FAQ" page and the recipe index.

Robin, I'm so glad you liked it! I know what you mean about the sweetness: my apples weren't terribly tart either, and I initially found the cake to be a bit too sweet. But when I tasted it again on the second day, the sweetness had mellowed, and it actually tasted just right. So I decided to print the recipe here with the full amount of sugar. I might go back and add a little note, though, about reducing the sugar in the base to 3/4 cup if your apples aren't very tart. I think that amount might be just right.

3:06 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Michelle said...

I make this apple cake every year for Christmas Eve. When a friend gave it to me, she called it "Harriet's Apple Cake." Best with Pippins or other tart, flavorful apple.

3:47 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

Hi, Molly. Me again. I made the cake and it was a flop. All my fault, of course. I was so afraid of burning the bottom that I underbaked it---even though I left it in the oven for the full amount of time, I put some aluminum foil around the bottom of the pan. Also, I over-processed the crust, maybe? And the top didn't get crispy. Bummer.

HOWEVER! The edge of the crust was incredibly delicious. While the chickens will be getting most of this cake-tart, I think I'll be making another one tomorrow, maybe with red raspberries or blueberries this time around.

Re the book tour: if you decide to make a little jaunt down the Shenandoah Valley, you'd be welcome to pop over to my house for dinner and a warm bed...


4:29 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Holly said...

Can we please call this The Apple Cart? I'd love that. :)

4:48 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger A and E said...

Molly, I would be honored to meet you in DC on your book tour! Please stop by our coast...we would be so grateful.

4:49 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Vermonstrous said...

DC - yes, please!

6:23 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would attend a dc event!

7:05 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'd come to D.C.!

7:07 PM, January 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, definitely come visit us in DC!

7:30 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

You guys are so great. Thank you for all the replies about DC. As it turns out, there will be no charge for attending (aside from a cash bar); my brother is comping the food! What a man.

As for the apple cake, Mama JJ, just to clarify, the top should not get crispy. The only part of the cake that gets at all crunchy is the outer part of the base, along the sides and the bottom. The cinnamon topping firms up as it cooks through, but it doesn't get crispy. I hope this helps - and that you have better luck next time!

7:56 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger agathafrye said...

Molly's coming to Olympia too- and to my library, no less! We sealed the deal for March 27th, which is a Friday night. I'm so excited!

PS- yay, apple cake! I just bought a springform cake pan a couple months ago...

8:33 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger the premed next door said...

Oh Molly, please, please, PLEASE try and come a week earlier. Anytime before the 15th. PLEASE.

I know you don't know me, because I've never commented before, but I have been a loyal follower of Orangette since 2004 (October). I've made Jimmy's oeufs a la cantalienne and your banana bread (the one with no fat whatsoever... it is a winner!). The asparagus flan was part of my family's Christmas dinner. So on. My family knows about your website even though they've never visited it because I talk about it all the time.

And I would love to meet you. Unfortunately, while I live about 20 minutes away from DC, I am a college student in New Jersey. My spring break is the week before your planned date. I would love it, absolutely LOVE IT, if you could just move your planned date back about 2 days. Yes, maybe?

Also, this apple tarte cake sounds lovely :)

9:32 PM, January 20, 2009  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

You'll be coming to San Francisco! Squee! I just recently got into this blog and I love it. What a wonderful prospect to meet you! What bookstore will you be visiting?

1:06 AM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Greg Turner said...

This cake sounds absolutely marvelous.

And if I lived near DC, I'd certainly make the trip. Any chance the book goes huge and you're forced to make a tour stop in Florida?

2:05 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Kate said...

I would definitely come to a DC event if you made it all the way out here.

2:15 AM, January 21, 2009  
OpenID racheleats said...

Apple cart....very funny whoever you are.

I will have to wait for your london and Rome dates once your book is a international bestseller.

4:21 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Gretchen Noelle said...

Any chance you will be in the northern california area for your tour?

5:34 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger melanie said...

I'm in MD so a DC visit would be grand. And I have a book blog so it would be a great feature for a post.
My kids are going to be so excited to have this apple thingy!

5:35 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I am new to your blog and just love it. I live in Reston, VA and would definitely make the trek to DC for your book event. I'll be 36 weeks pregnant by then but I'll be there. I guess you couldn't have your event at 'Passion Fish'? A great addition to our land-of-chain restaurants.
The apple cake recipe looks delicious.

6:01 AM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous lisaiscooking said...

Cinnamon glaze that puffs! That was all I needed to know. Wow, that sounds delicious.

6:48 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger reya said...

What a beautiful cake. I'm sure it would be lovely with some of David Lebovitz's Vanilla Ice Cream.

7:29 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger k.funk said...

I was hoping you would come to DC! I would love to attend.

7:46 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Brian G. said...

What about Chicago? Lafayette, IN isn't big enough to tempt you, but I have pork roast from our home raised pigs that I would throw in to sweeten the deal.

8:09 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Yes! I would definitely come to an event!

8:18 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Emlyn said...

What fun! I would absolutely come to your DC shindig. I live in Baltimore and would relish the idea of a culinarily stimulating evening of bookish goodness replete with hors d'oeuvres and the esteemed authoress. Count me in! (but please do email me a reminder if you're sending them out, I'm a sometimes overwhelmed single mother of two (under 5) and need the help).

9:17 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Ashley said...

I live in DC, and I'd be there in a heartbeat! While I don't presume to speak for friends, I think it's safe to say that some of them would be there too.

9:56 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Katie said...

oh please please pleeeeaaase come to dc! i'm positive a large crowd would eagerly attend, especially at one of your brother's amazing restaurants :)

10:05 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger jennifer erwin said...

Molly--I'm a big fan of your blog, an Oklahoma girl myself (transplanted to New Orleans). Thanks for the recipe; maybe I'll dust off the ol' springform. Please visit my blogs if you get a chance. They're kind of lonely, but they're cute. www.thesouploop.blogspot.com, www.foodorleans.blogspot.com.

10:13 AM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks like the apple cake we've been making for years. Come to think of it we got it out of a magazine or newspaper (I'm in Canada) You must try it with pears! It has never lasted more than a day in our house.

10:32 AM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Robin said...

Molly, you're right about the flavors realigning overnight. I think the apple and vanilla flavors have stepped forward, which has shifted the sweetness level a bit.

If I didn't despise creme fraiche and sour cream, I would have dolloped one of those over the cake, because I think the sourness would make a great complement.

But since I'm a whipped cream kind of girl, I'm going to try the cake next time with 3/4 cup of sugar and see if that brings it down just a bit. I'm also going to try it with salted butter next time and see how that changes things. Because I think it's still a bit too sweet for either ice cream or sweetened whipped cream (although I realize that for others it may be just right the way it is). Although it would probably be fab with some aged cheddar.

Right now I'm imagining this as a great dessert for one of my other favorite recipes here: Fretwell Italian Vegetable soup (dressed up just a bit with homemade chicken stock). OMG that is the BEST soup recipe, ever! And I think it would be perfect with a little homemade focaccia and followed by this cake.

10:46 AM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Planning on including Iowa in your tour? Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City, IA, is a wonderful place to visit... would be perfect for a tour stop... that is, if you want to make a detour via Oklahoma! the cake reminds me of my grandma's apple kuchen... will have to make!

10:47 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Alejandra said...

What a lovely recipe! It reminds me of one I learned to make from a lovely lady in Florence (who in turn learned it from a lovely Austrian lady). It's a part tart, part cake, with an incredible glaze. i think i'll have to dig out my recipe now (once I try yours, of course).

As for DC. I love DC. I used to live there and was actually quite the fan of Ceiba! I'm not sure that I'd be able to make a specific trip down there although I'd really love to. You really have no plans to visit New York City? It seems like such a huge skip for a publicity tour (I used to be a book publicist in DC, actually.)You have so many fans here and there are so many wonderful places for you to come read! I'm sure there would be people falling over themselves to arrange an event. At any rate, I know of at least two girls in DC who would absolutely love to attend an event like this!!

11:25 AM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Patty said...

I would love to come to your book event in DC ---

12:01 PM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Megan said...

Hi Molly! Your query about the possibility of a DC visit prompted me to leave my first blog comment ever, on any blog (I take lurking seriously). Definitely you should make a stop here--count me in!

12:43 PM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please pretty-please come to DC! We'd love to visit with you!

1:13 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger michaela said...

Where in the Seattle area are you thinking? What about Boston?

1:24 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Christina Marie said...

I had no idea your brother was an owner of the Passion Foods restaurants! Ceiba is an absolute favorite!

I would totally come...except that I will be out of town March 14-17. Sad day.

1:57 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger thatramongirl said...

Yes, please - see you in DC!

2:18 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger leanne said...


If you could travel up the east coast to Connecticut we'd be thrilled to have you!

2:55 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger La Traductora said...

I had a cake like this a million moons ago. Since then I thought I was on the search for the Holy Grail, until now. An apple cake was just too much cake, a tart was too flat, but this one--dios mio de mi vida--I think this is the one!

3:44 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Kristen said...

I live in DC and would love to join! :)

4:06 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all!

Just wanted to let you know that I have posted a list of book events here. (You can also get there by scrolling up to the top of the sidebar, above, and clicking on the link under the image of the book cover. It's the link that says, "...and click here for more details.") I'll be updating the list whenever I have new information to add, so keep an eye on it.

Thank you!

4:11 PM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Hi! It looks like you don't need anymore 'yes, please come's , but I'll add my vote anyway! Just LOVE your blog & your writing. :)

4:35 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Peggy said...

Hooray, you're coming to Portland! Be sure to let us know when you post the date in the sidebar. Wouldn't want to miss you!

4:57 PM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Catherine Flournoy said...

Hi Molly, it's been a WHILE since I've last been on your blog...have taken a break from food blogging myself since I dove into my career, but I am so pleased to see that so much has happened on the up and up for you! CONGRATULATIONS!!

This Apple Cake post also sent me to seventh heaven, as your posts usually do. =) On an intense day like today reading your story just puts me at ease, like a good latte. Thanks for keeping up your blog, I appreciate it.

Happy 2009

5:01 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Antonio Tahhan said...

the cake/tart sounds absolutely magical - I love its ambiguity.
ps. you should definitely stop by dc. I'll come and bring friends, too.

6:16 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Antonio Tahhan said...

sweet! just realized you already have an event schedule and are stopping by dc. see you in march!

6:25 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Hannah said...

hi molly
please please please come to NYC!!! please!! i am totally prepared to cut school (btw, it'd be great if this event was on the weekend....please?) and schlep down to DC, but it's so much better if you come to NY...
and also, that apple cake looks magnificent

6:50 PM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous angie said...

Oh, so there are already sooo many comments on this post..but I thought I'd add mine. I am over tired and when tired I m highly influenced by food suggestion...case in point I made this Apple Cart within two hours of seeing the photo on here. Im not much of a baker, so will have to try it again - I over cooked the bottom, basically, but it tastes so yummy we are eating in anyways. Maybe tomorrowwith some fresh cream to make it, um, chewable. Also, I can see reducing the sugar and trying the almond flour...yum. I used a larger 9.75" pan, and so I used 4 apples, and doubled the base (but not the top - which I may do). I didnt think I would have to, but then the first batch didnt even cover the bottom...dont know if thats why it burned, or perhaps my oven is too hot? anyways. Im sure I'll get it right..Im thinking this would be perfect to freeze and have ready to bring to a dinner party, or lunch with tea...I think the apples would freeze well..no?

7:08 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger kaitlin said...

This apple pie-tart-thingo is the perfect snack at the perfect time! Like the little apple pie is puffing out its chest...straightening up its "as american as" badge. Thanks for the sweetness and big congratulations on your book!

7:13 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger allison said...

Oh! Please come to D.C.! I am a huge fan of your blog and am thinking of a couple of friends who would gladly come along for an event of yours!

7:16 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Erin said...

I have read your blog for years and never posted before, but I had hoped against all hopes that you would come to DC on your book tour.

So I must end my years of silence.

When I first figured out that DC Coast, Ten Penh, Ceiba, and Acadiana was your brother's- I was floored. [I was explaining to my roommate that romance was not dead, since you wrote about him installing speakers in his kitchen so he could "kitchen dance" with his new bride.] I love all of those restaurants and would rearrange everything to go to a book party at any one of them and get to meet you. So please please please if you can fit it in, come to DC!

p.s. Plus how can you miss an opportunity to stop at Ben's Chili Bowl? It's right around the corner from me and such an incentive to come to DC and pig out!

7:28 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger D G said...

please come to d.c. truly. i'd come to seattle if i could, but this way you'd get to say hi to our new pres. and if you happen to get the urge to visit baltimore, i know a whole host of people who would be more than happy to share a little soup and banana bread.

7:43 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger roula said...

yes come to dc! i live here and would love that. in the evening please so i don't have to beg off work!

7:59 PM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous Judy said...

Told you so. When I first had this in Canada, I said,"this is a Molly cake, if ever there was one". And it makes me so happy that you and the loyal coterie love it,even untried.
Please, post how any adaptations work out.

8:22 PM, January 21, 2009  
Anonymous maya said...

Molly your pictures have such a lovely ethereal quality. And your book cover looks so classicly elegant- and so French. Keep up the good work!

11:20 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Botacook said...

I love apples, and apple cakes. Yours is totaly mouthwatering!

3:16 AM, January 22, 2009  
Anonymous Keli W said...

Molly, as your brother can tell you, the D.C. food scene is nothing if not on the rise. You must stop here. I'd love to see you! Belated congrats on the Young Alum honor, by the way. Obviously well deserved!

7:26 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Claire said...

I love, "get a springform pan thingo and butter it." Funny! :)

8:23 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Georgiarai said...

I, too, am de-lurking and casting my vote for D.C

8:36 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger SaraMatty said...

Ooh, I definitely would come out if you came to DC :) It's enough to make me de-lurk here as well.

9:16 AM, January 22, 2009  
Anonymous Chris Ronk said...

I love the idea of a tart/cake recipe. I just found your blog and I love it.

I've only been to Seattle in the Spring when the sun was shining. A beautiful and lively city.

I just found this site and I love it. Consider your site book marked.

9:20 AM, January 22, 2009  
Anonymous Rena said...

Thanks for the recipe, Molly - I made it last night using half King Arthur white-whole-wheat, half white flour. I also used a bit less sugar and some soggy-doggy apples that have been rolling around the crisper drawer for a few months. It's spectacular - we ate it for breakfast. Next time I make it (and I will make it soon), I'll use a mix of soft sweet apples and firm tart ones.
My cinnamon glaze didn't puff, perhaps because I didn't mix thoroughly before putting it on the top of the cake. No matter - it made a delicious sweet eggy mix in between the apple layers.

9:47 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Rena, the glaze just puffs a little tiny bit in the oven, and then it relaxes into a smooth layer on top. Yours probably wasn't too far from right, although it definitely shouldn't seem eggy. Next time, just whisk it a little more, so that no streaks of egg are visible, and I'll bet you'll be fine...

10:04 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Heather M said...

Yes, yes, yes. Please come see us in DC!

10:09 AM, January 22, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why no picture of the dog, sans polarfleece coat? ;)

11:39 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Ann said...

I would love to see you in DC! This blog is an inspiration for so much of my cooking- can't wait for the book.

12:12 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Aimee said...

I would be interested in an event in DC. Your brother owns some of my favorite restaurants, especially Ceiba.

12:51 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Buffra said...

A weekend event in DC, maybe? Because my parents aren't *too* far from DC and if I could drive down and stop over with them, I could get to DC. Which I would do. Because I think it would be fun.


This sounds fantastic and yummy, by the way.

2:24 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Katie said...

Count me in for an event in D.C.! That would be lovely.

2:35 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger c. said...

I'd most certainly stop by an event in DC. And I've been to several of those restaurants over the course of several years of Restaurant Weeks!

2:38 PM, January 22, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing and recipes are a joy. Yes,please come to DC!

3:14 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Veena said...

I'd love to meet the person who got me onto brussel sprouts and braised cabbage :) would love to meet you in DC!

3:50 PM, January 22, 2009  
OpenID 8junebugs.com said...

See, I skipped right down to the recipe and missed the DC cue.

Hi! I live in Alexandria and I would ABSOLUTELY come to a book event at any of those restaurants. Or a bookstore. Or the corner convenience store. It would be lovely to meet you after all these years of reading your blog and trying your recipes.

Buchons au thons -- still my favorite.

3:54 PM, January 22, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DC? I would be there.

4:31 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger I Like Your Buns said...

I love this, and it was very easy to make gluten-free by using brown rice flour. Thanks for another lovely recipe.

4:51 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger purplepepehawaii said...

Maybe I could convince my friend in Boston to meet me in DC for a trip I've been thinking about taking... either that, or I'd like to go to the Oklahoma city one... we're in Wichita...

5:38 PM, January 22, 2009  
Anonymous Elizabeth in Livermore, CA said...

Hi Molly, I put ingredients for 5 of your recipes on my list this week, including apples for this tart/cake. I have a thingo waiting for the oven! I am so excited about your tour, and can't wait for you to come to San Francisco!

9:08 PM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Jen said...

Molly, thanks for sharing this! It was completely delicious. I think I either got a little overzealous with my brand new food processor or didn't cook it quite long enough because I found that the cake collapsed a bit in the center but ohmigoodness was it delicious. My friend described it as a combination of sugar cookie, apple tart and cake all in one. I just think it's delicious and will definitey be making it again. Hoping you'll get a chance to visit us in NYC!

9:18 AM, January 23, 2009  
Blogger Jillian said...

Sweet! I'll have to try a mix. I think almond flour would be perfect. Thanks for the recommendation.
Looking forward to the book signing in DC.

10:34 AM, January 23, 2009  
Anonymous DC Sarah said...

Oh I am SO EXCITED! Skipping class to be at the DC booksigning and can't wait to meet you! :D

11:53 AM, January 23, 2009  
Anonymous Karen said...

Just read this post--was too excited about the inauguration earlier in the week to read blogs! (President Obama--YAY!)

But I'm so glad you're coming to DC on your book tour. I'm putting it on my calendar now!

4:26 PM, January 23, 2009  
Blogger purplepepehawaii said...

Can someone tell me the best method for even, thin slices? I don't have a mandolin slicer and I haven't figured out how to control my food processor 'slicing' disc.... Should I buy one of those mandolin slicers?

5:30 PM, January 23, 2009  
Anonymous HouseLewis said...

From one Seattleite to another...just wanted to let you know how stunning your blog is. Here's a little Blog LUV Award!

Check it out here:

8:37 PM, January 23, 2009  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I just read the description of your book on amazon and then added it to my shopping cart, I can't wait to read it.....it sounds wonderful!

8:56 PM, January 23, 2009  
Blogger Mary Casper said...

Gosh, I'm so happy I moved to the west coast in time for your book tour! Not to rub it in, but I will not be scrambling from Philly down to DC, just cross one measly bridge to San Francisco. But it seems you'll have no trouble filling up a DC event. I have to say that the steady comment increase in recent weeks seems to mean the collective anticipation coast to coast is surely building! A dear east coast friend of mine has already posed the idea of an online reading club...

11:00 AM, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

purplepepehawaii, a sharp knife will usually do the trick. You could buy a mandolin, sure - they are nice to have around - but I really think you could slice them by hand. They don't need to be crazy-thin - maybe 1/4 inch? - and it's okay if they're not perfectly even.

12:09 PM, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Kathy said...

Fantastic! I couldn't locate the bottom to my springform pan, alas, so decided to use two 7" tart pans, also with removable bottoms. They came out perfectly! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

1:15 PM, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Modern Dame said...

Sounds absulutely delicious...I wonder if I might be able to substitute pears...(I have a ton of perfect ones just waiting in the kitchen). Sounds like dessert for my dinner party later this week is taken care of :)

P.S. - so excited to hear that you're coming to DC...I'll have to try and make the book signing!

2:43 AM, January 25, 2009  
Anonymous maddy said...

i just made this last night and LOVED it! thanks, molly!

5:11 AM, January 25, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,

I told my bf that I would post for the first time today because he loved this cake. I was pretty much lucky to get the slice I did when I first baked it. Then, when I got home from work yesterday it was all gone, except one small slice left. And then he was kind enough to ask me if I wanted to share it with him after dinner. Ha ha. He also wisely observed that it was better the next day. I made mine with slices of apple and comice pears which is what I had on hand. It was great.

2:46 PM, January 25, 2009  
Blogger Jacki said...

I have been a lurker for some time, but I just wanted to pop up and say I will be at your book signing in DC! I live in Northern Virginia and will definitely make sure to be there!

5:09 AM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous Amy said...

Thank you so much for this recipe, Molly -- I baked this yesterday, and despite a tragic flub (it had been in the oven for 6 minutes when I realized, oops! Forgot the egg and vanilla in the base!), I was able to take it out, remove the apples, freeze the base to get the butter solid again, and dump it in the food processor with the egg and vanilla, and put it back together again -- all with no apparent harm in the texture or taste. Talk about a forgiving recipe!

My boyfriend and I couldn't wait a day to taste it, and it was sublime.

Looking forward to your book!

6:30 AM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Oh thank you for this recipe. I had printed it out last week, and then this weekend, I was charged with making dessert for a friend's birthday dinner. She does not do chocolate, so this was perfect. And everyone loved it.

6:50 AM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous poppy@mixedgreensblog.com said...

Molly, I just discovered your blog and you're in Seattle too... Love your photos, makes me want to go back to film. Did you stockpile polaroid film or has someone else figured out how to make it?

9:07 AM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Poppy, I'm stockpiling! Most of the bottom shelf of our fridge is crammed full of Polaroid film. But just a couple of weeks ago, it was announced that these people have acquired Polaroid's old equipment and are trying to start making the film again. Fingers crossed...

9:43 AM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Laura said...

Just made this for a dinner party last night and it got rave reviews! Just wondering though, did the outside edge of yours get very very hard? I think I actually like it...it's almost like candy...but it took me a minute to get into it.

9:50 AM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Hmm. No, I don't think mine got that hard, Laura. Mine got nicely crispy-chewy, but not at all like candy. Weird!

10:05 AM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This definitely calls for a tart apple. I made it with Rome apples, what I had on hand. I cut back the sugar on the bottom by 1/4 c and it was still too sweet. I think you could make this with other juicy fruit, too, with good results.

10:07 AM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous Roger said...

New reader to your blog, but a longtime reader of bon appetit and enjoy your articles there. Made this cake/tart this past Sunday (the last one in January!) and on a winter day in Minnesota when the high temperature was still below zero, it was great - the whole family loved it. thanks!

How abouta book tour stop at the Barnes and Noble in Rochester, Minn (in the summer, when its warm)?

3:57 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum! Never commented on a blog before but I just had to after baking the apple tart cake. It is delicious. Imagine how accomplished I felt when I scored a "high five" from my 17 year old son on this one. Not bad for someone who commonly messes up cheese toast. Thanks for the recipe.

5:21 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

Molly, thank you (and Judy) so much for this recipe!

I made 6 for Cameron's birthday pig-roast last weekend, and they were devoured by our foodie friends. We have just a few slices left over, and they are indeed better the second day.

Here's a photo:

I'm happy to report that the recipe works well in other size 'thingos' -- although you do need to do a bit of re-adjusting. I made 7 base recipes total and split the dough among the pans (8.5, 2x9, 9.5, 10, and a 9x9 rounded square, which has equivalent surface to a 10-inch round). I eyeballed the amount of the base in each pan until they were all roughly the same depth. Kept a careful eye on the done-ness of the base during the first part of the baking, and all was fine.

People at the party were using foul language to describe how much they loved this cake. :D

7:11 AM, January 27, 2009  
OpenID islandlass said...

It was out of this world! Thought I'd screwed up by using a 10" instead of a 9" spring form pan and spreading the batter too thin, but it worked out great; and I made it gluten-free using all purpose GF flour and a half teaspoon of xanthum gum.

Thank you!

7:13 PM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous MsGourmet said...

gotta love an apple cake and this one looks delish!

4:37 AM, January 29, 2009  
Anonymous Thimbleina said...

Always looking for recipes to use my stash of apples up. This looks yummy

6:35 AM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

I made it again yesterday, this time with red raspberries. And the crust got perfect. I do have a little trouble liking the topping---it is so soft that it almost makes the cake feel mushy. I'm thinking it would be good without the topping (the crust rose up around the berries), or maybe with an apple crisp type topping---oats, butter, cinnamon. It's definitely a good base recipe that leaves lots of room for playing around. The crust is a real winner.


8:48 AM, January 29, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic!!! My office is across the street from Ceiba in D.C. I can't wait!!


1:51 PM, January 29, 2009  
Anonymous jeannette stgermain said...

Hmm, your apple tart/cake is looking good - I have a recipe of a friend in Holland of apple cake
(13 x 9 baking pan) with 4 eggs and flower, so I'm gonna try this out! thanks for sharing this recipe. cheers, jeannette

11:03 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger chefjeff1 said...

Greetings dears. A little bit of background on this wonderful recipe. When I purchased my first Cuisinart Food Processor (now I have 3 different sized Cuisies), there was a little pamphlet which I still have. It is entitled "Special Cuisinart Food Processor Recipes". On the very last page is the recipe for Sue Weinstein's German Apple Cake. It's been a staple here at Camp Jeff and Owen for years. There are only 2 differences in the recipe that is in my pamphlet. It calls for 4 tb. of butter in the crust, and it calls for 4 large Pippin apples. Other wise, it is the identical recipe, including the wording in the directions. Of course, now I have to try it again, using the extra Tb. of butter in the crust, and the Granny Smith apples. Thanks to Molly, I'm also going to wait a day before digging into this treat after the baking.
Cheers all, and happy cooking/eating this Superbowl weekend.

8:44 AM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger SoonToBeMrsB said...

It was very delicious, Molly. I made it when I was home sick from work on Monday, and my fiance was away for the week. It was very comforting with SleepyTime tea and a fleece blanket.

10:20 AM, January 30, 2009  
Anonymous Robin said...

Okay, I made this again this morning with half AP unbleached flour and half almond meal, 3/4 c sugar, tart apples, and unrefined sugar in the topping (Rapunzel brand).

After my first bite, I can tell no difference in the sweetness, so I suspect that I could go even lower without too much of a problem. I also like the hint of molasses in the topping that comes from the unrefined sugar (I think muscovado would be yummy here, too). And the almond meal creates this wonderful, slightly chewy butteriness to the base that is IMO a wonderful riff on the original. It's not like frangipane, exactly, but I am still anxious to taste again tomorrow to see if the almond flavor steps forward at all.

All in all, a successful variation, IMO.

And for those of you who are having problems with the base burning or getting too dark, might I suggest baking it at 300? I have done that both times and have had no problems. In fact, I have used an ordinary cake pan both times and the cake lifts out beautifully, golden brown and perfectly set.

12:50 PM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger kittymama said...

I made this before reading the comments so I used a full cup of sugar and some averagely tart granny smith apples. It was delicious! We didn't find it too sweet at all and I love how the edges were caramelized. No problem with the bottom burning but I put a sheet pan underneath. Can't wait to make it again as I left the leftovers with our lunch hosts. Darn it, I should have been shameless and taken some home! Thank you, Molly.

9:41 AM, February 01, 2009  
Anonymous Tracey said...

I made this for the superbowl yesterday and it was a huge hit! I can't wait to try it again - maybe with ice cream this time. :-)

8:34 AM, February 02, 2009  
Blogger Pajau said...

I made this cake twice in one week already (once for myself - second for a potluck). I am not a huge fan of apple desserts but this one has made me a believer. So light and refreshing. Thank you!!

2:33 PM, February 05, 2009  
Anonymous surfzone said...

I just did it... it was EXCELLENT. It was so yummy indeed that I couldn't take a picture of it for my Flickr account :-(
Thanks for sharing those tremendous recipes :-D

5:27 AM, February 09, 2009  
Blogger Chelsea said...

Delicious! I made this last night and had a piece for breakfast. Definitely an "oatmeal cookie" texture on the edges, loved it!

I will be seeing you in SF, can't wait. Do I need to purchase the book online, or will it be available at Book Passage??

10:30 AM, February 18, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

So glad you liked it, Chelsea! And re: buying a book, you can buy it at Book Passage, no problem. See you in SF!

11:11 AM, February 18, 2009  
Blogger Andrea said...

OK, this comment may never get read but ... I was so excited to try this cake and soooo disappointed! I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup and it was still so sweet that I actually threw it away. The base was cooked to the perfect consistency but was still so sweet it was practically inedible. Where did I go wrong???

11:43 AM, February 21, 2009  
Blogger rebecca said...

it was fabulous the first day... fabulous the second... and though i can't believe there's still some left, i know it will be fabulous today as well. everything came out just right for us.

9:32 AM, February 24, 2009  
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1:16 PM, March 03, 2009  
Anonymous denise sullivan said...

Molly, I am about halfway through your lovely book and it is absolutely even better than I imagined it would be. (gush) Thank you for sharing not only your recipes but the stories that make a life what it is...my dad passed in June from colon cancer and your writing regarding the tumble of emotions that you have been through are a comfort to me. Thank you and best wishes for the future.

1:43 PM, March 05, 2009  
Blogger Gillian said...

I made the tart/cake this Sunday and it is fabulous...I like the recipe because 1) it uses apples (yum!) and 2) it was really easy to do.

10:53 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Sandy said...

This cake was one of the most amazing things i have ever made and eaten- Simple. Beautiful. Delicous!

7:54 AM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger Kathy said...

On a very HOT day in July I am making this same beautiful cake with apricots and blueberries. I hope it's worth the heat in the house!

7:13 PM, July 26, 2009  
Anonymous Rumela said...

This Apple tart cake looks so scrumptious with the colors, I'm sure it'll be a big hit with the kids! Although I'm to a big fan of appale tart cake, this sure looks yummy! I'm normally the one that will say no to chocolate cake. thank you for shearing your post.

9:03 PM, August 16, 2009  
Blogger sueyw said...

My name is Sue Weinstein and this cake recipe originated from me. Many years ago I was taking classes from Simca Beck in the Napa Valley and she brought with her a little french machine that sliced, chopped etc. It was made by the Cuisinart company in France. Many of us in the class ordered one and you all know the eventually success of this mighty machine. I took mine home, experimented with it, and creating a brownie recipe which I then sent off to Gourmet Magazine. The recipe was published. By this time the Cuisinart was being imported into the US. The US distributors wrote me to see if I had any other recipes, which I did, and I sent them my Grandmother's recipe for German Apple Cake. They asked if they could use it in the little cookbook that come with the Cuisinart. The recipe was on the back page and was called, Sue Weinstein's Apple Cake. To this day I will meet people who still use this recipe. I have made only a few changes throughout the years which are that I sprinkle sliced almonds over the topping before it's final bake and sprinkle powdered sugar just before serving. Try plums, blueberries, peaches during the summer, plums are my favorite.

7:55 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Chiara said...

I made this dessert to take to a dinner with some friends. It was the first time I'd made it, but it came out so perfect and pretty and delicious.

Since 'Apple tart cake' is a bit cumbersome to say, I called it 'Apple cart' (half cake, half tart). The name stuck and seems appropriate!

Thank you for the lovely recipe.

10:06 PM, February 04, 2010  
Anonymous Bunny said...

It's snowing today in Richmond, VA and with all the ingredients in the house, I couldn't wait to make this dessert. The recipe is perfect as written, and my hungry hubby who adores apple desserts says this is an A+. Served it slightly warm with apple/cinnamon tea--delish!

6:29 PM, February 05, 2010  
Anonymous Ena said...

Made it yesterday and loved it! Perfect amount of sweet, the crust is great and it is so easy and quick to make. A definite repeater.

1:23 AM, October 19, 2010  
Blogger Courtney said...

My father came by my house the other day with a sack filled with apples from my sister's yard requesting that I make him a pie. Since it was his birthday, I decided to comply. I wasn't keen on making pie crust that day, so I decided to check in on your blog and see what alternatives you might have to offer (I have just discovered you, having found and loved your book). I came across this recipe and decided to try it. It was perfect! I served it with vanilla ice cream -- everyone, particularly my little girls, just loved it. I am really eager to make it again and use it as my go-to dessert offering. Thanks so much.

10:42 AM, October 08, 2011  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Dear Molly,

I made this cake and it wasn't very successful. It was all fine except for the topping, it was distinctly eggy. I'm really sad about it because I can tell that underneath the eggyness it is a great cake! But it was really inedible. I'm not sure why this happened and I was wondering if you had any ideas? Maybe my oven wasn't hot enough?

Sarah x

3:00 PM, February 20, 2012  

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