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picture perfect (post 10 of a 52 recipe resolution)

April 10, 2013

quick apple cake

Processing pictures across several monitors is challenging at best.  I have two stand alone monitors, one PC and one iPad and the photos I process look different on each one of them.  Don’t even try to send a picture for printing because it will look different from each of the monitors.

It’s kind of like looking for a recipe on the internet where one search can turn up thousands of results.  Google gave me 52,400 results when I searched for Ligita’s Quick Apple Cake.  Crazy, right?  I’ll bet that each recipe is similar but that no two are exactly alike.  After narrowing my search down to a couple of versions from sites that I trust, I realized that none of them even shared the same size baking dish.

So here you go, version 52,401 of Ligita’s Quick Apple Cake.  The original recipe seems to have been around since the 1950’s and is most often referenced from Classic Home Desserts written by Richard Sax in 1994.

Quick Apple Cake

3 medium-size tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise (i.e. cut a bean in half crosswise, then split in half lengthwise)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously butter a 9 or 10-inch pie plate.

Toss the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cinnamon. Spread the apples evenly in the prepared pan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and then them, along with the split bean, to the melted butter.  Cook over medium heat until the milk solids are light brown and the butter smells nutty, about 8 – 10 minutes.  Watch carefully to avoid burning.  Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove the vanilla bean and pour the browned butter into a medium bowl.  Scrape in all the seeds and browned butter bits from the bottom of the pan as well.

Stir the 3/4 cup sugar into the butter.  Gently stir in the eggs then stir in the flour and salt until just blended.  Spoon the batter evenly over the apples and spread into a layer.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake until lightly golden and crusty, 40 to 45 minutes.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Cut into wedges and serve from
the pan warm or at room temperature.

As this cools the topping becomes more dense.  It will keep wrapped in the refrigerator or on a cool counter for a couple of days but the top will soften as it absorbs moisture.

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