Saturday, October 9, 2010

Flourless Apple and Almond Cake

I, like many other aspiring cooks, have been thinking a lot about apples lately.  Apples are bountiful in the fall, as are the things you can do with them. 

I've recently discovered a wild apple tree near our home but I've been nervous to try the apples (crab apples) which may or not be to my liking.  Last year I saw a whole bunch of apples scattered in a bunch in a different area, several with large messy bites taken out of them.  My hypothesis at the time was that the bear that was rumored to be around the neighborhood was the culprit.  I've had a crab apple once, in North Carolina, and I remember distinctly not being impressed.  Maybe the bear was not impressed either. 


I am not brave enough or tall enough to try these apples however, and this cake came from apples I picked at a local orchard.  Macs and Gravensteins.  Although you could use basically any apple that is good for baking.  I always like a mix of sweet and slightly tart.
I got the idea to make a flourless Almond Cake when I saw a post on Honey Almond Cake from Anja's Food 4 Thought.  But I wanted to do something slightly different and definitely with apples, so I did some searching and came across Citrus and Candy's Flourless Apple and Almond Teacake.

I made several adaptations, the first was to cut the sugar significantly.  I've used almond flour before and really love the taste.  I also was hoping that the sweetness of the apples would carry the cake.

And it did.  I used 1/2 cup raw sugar with 1/3 cup honey.  I think it would be delicious with just honey too although you could increase the amount slightly.  I also reduced it to 3 eggs and added 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt mostly to keep that almond flour nice and moist.

This was one of those recipes where you've changed so much that you put it in the oven and send a little prayer up to the baking goddesses that everything is gonna be alright.  I had a moment of panic where I thought, this looks awfully watery, should I add some all purpose flour?  I decided against it and am glad I held out.

The resulting cake was delicious, with crisp apples on top, the ones on the edges sunk into the flaky almond pastry, and moist, almondy apples inside peppered with cloves.

Flourless Apple and Almond Cake
Adapted from Citrus and Candy
5-6 apples (mixture of sweet and tart)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 Tbsp butter
2 c Almond Meal
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c raw sugar, plus more to sprinkle on top of cake
3 eggs
1/3 c honey
1/2 c plain yogurt (low fat or whole milk)

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Butter 9 inch springform pan and set aside.  

Cut 3 of the apples (unpeeled) into small wedges.  In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter, then add apples.  Add ground cloves and 2 dashes cinnamon and cook apples for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook apples until they are soft and just starting to change color.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together almond flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt.  

In a separate medium bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and honey until the mixture becomes pale and thickens.  This may take about 4-5 minutes.  Now add yogurt and beat together for another minute or so.  Add almond mixture and stir together gently.

Fold in sauteed apples and pour mixture into greased springform pan.  Take remaining apples and slice thinly (start with 2 but have the third handy in case you need it.)  If you have a stand-up mixer, you can slice the apples while the egg mixture is mixing.  

With remaining 2 Tbsp of butter, melt in microwave (5 second intervals) or on the stove, then let cool slightly.  Place sliced apples on top of cake batter in concentric circles.  Apple slices may sink in slightly.  Drizzle melted butter on top and then sprinkle on small amount of raw sugar and cinnamon.

Bake in the oven 60-70 minutes at 325F, until knife comes out clean.  Let cool before serving.

1 comment:

  1. mmm, i'm loving this apple season! this looks absolutely wonderful...but the fact that it's flourless is even better!:)