This is delicious! Sorry for the lame name, but I don’t know how else to convey the quality of this cake. There is more fruit than dough in this cake, yet it holds together nicely. The recipe calls for a topping of sugar–this is not really necessary, though it adds a crunchy note to the cake. Don’t be put off by the length of the recipe; it’s actually quite easy to make.
You can also make this cake with pears, plums, peaches, and nectarines. Unless the pears are not quite ripe, there is no need to cook these fruits before baking.
For the apples:
4 large-ish apples
1 T lemon juice
2 T butter
1 – 2 T sugar
For cake batter:
1 c flour, white or whole wheat, or a combination
1/2 c sugar, or to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
1 – 2 T brown sugar, for topping (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan, springform pan, or square pan. Set aside.
2. Peel apples, if you like, and core. Cut each apple into quarters, then each quarter into 3 or 4 slices. Transfer slices to a bowl. If, as you are filling the bowl, you notice that the slices are starting to brown, add the lemon juice and stir to coat. If not, then add the lemon juice once all the apples are sliced. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat and add apples. Cook, gently stirring now and then, until apples soften, about 10 minutes. Peeled slices will soften a little sooner. Don’t allow the slices to start turning to applesauce. Remove from heat once the apples have softened to your liking.
4. Mix together the flour, the 1/2 c sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, combine the beaten eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the egg/oil mixture. Stir to combine. The batter will be thick. Add half the warm apples (juices and all) to the batter and mix. Scrape into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly with a spatula. Top with the remaining apple slices, making sure the apples cover the cake. Sprinkle with one tablespoon or more of sugar, if you like.
5. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the dough part of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan and serve.