Italian Apple Cake II
(Makes one 8-inch cake)
Italian Apple Cake
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/3 cup whole milk
1-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 medium apples
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter an 8 or 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
Melt 7 tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup.
Add the milk to the butter and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon;
Peel, core and cut the apples into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Toss the apples gently with the lemon juice to avoid discoloration; set aside.
Put the eggs and 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl. Using a whisk or electric mixer, beat the mixture until pale yellow and creamy. Add the grated lemon zest and vanilla; stir to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. When the flour is well incorporated, add the butter/milk mixture and stir until a smooth, thick batter forms.
Add half of the apple slices to the cake batter and stir gently to combine.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Smooth the batter so that it is even and the top is level. Arrange the remaining apple slices in a circular pattern, and slightly overlapping on top of the batter. Sprinkle the apple slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into tiny cubes and distribute them over the apple slices.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the surface is golden brown. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan and allow the cake to cool completely before transferring it to a cake plate. Dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar and serve.
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A delicious old-fashioned style cake filled with apples flavored with cinnamon, lemon, and vanilla and topped with more apple slices and sugar that slightly caramelizes the topping during baking. It's not too sweet and makes the perfect autumn afternoon dessert with a hot cup of coffee.
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