Upside Down Olive Oil Apple Cake, with Vanilla and Cinnamon
The title for this recipe is a little over dramatic for sure, but I did suffer war wounds in the making of this cake when I was not diligent in the use of the mandolin to slice the apples thinly. Was it worth it? Yes most definitely to taste a piece of this amazingly moist cake.
Those of you who follow More Than Burnt Toast know of my obsession with creating cakes made of olive oil in the Mediterranean tradition. Butter usually takes centre stage in baking when thinking of some of my favourites like butter tarts, buttery cream frosting and shortbread cookies. But there is something that draws me back time and time again to olive oil. After my successes with olive oil cakes made with blood oranges, clementines, Meyer lemon and poppy seed , banana, pumpkin and Ottolenghi's Apple Cake I thought that my next adventure would be apple and walnut. This "not-to-sweet" apple cake made with olive oil instead of butter, is a perfect seasonal recipe using winter apples.
In warm-weather Mediterranean countries where olives grow, and where butter spoils quickly, sweets are more likely to be made with age-old olive oil. In Italy, bakers add olive oil to everything from biscotti to apple cakes. In Spain and Morocco, the zesty character of orange semolina cake is enhanced with fruity-flavoured olive oil. The tender, crumbly Greek cookies kourambiedes, too, are made with olive oil. Oil will tenderize your cake batter and help keep it moist. So it is often used in fruity, dense quick breads and muffins that are leavened with baking powder and baking soda. The trick is keeping mixing to a minimum to prevent developing tough strands of gluten.
**Upside Down Apple Cake, with Olive Oil, Vanilla and Cinnamon**
starting point La Tartine Gourmand
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons butter + to butter mold
3 to 4 medium-sized apples
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup blond cane sugar + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 vanilla bean, cut in halves, seeds scraped out
1/2 cup minus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons almond flour
Preheat the oven at 350 F. Butter a round 9 inch mold — preferably non stick.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and roast them until fragrant (about 5 to 7 minutes). Remove and cool them; chop coarsely and set aside.
Wash the apples and slice them finely (do not core them but remove the seeds).
In a non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter on medium heat, and add the apple slices with the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Toss well and cook for about 4 minutes, or until slightly tender.
Arrange the apple slices at the bottom of the mold.
In a large bowl, pour the yogurt with the sugar. Add the vanilla seeds, and mix well. Add the eggs, and then the olive oil.
Finish with the flours, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nuts.
Pour this batter over the apples and bake the cake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the blade of a knife inserted in the cake comes out dry. Let the cake cool and then unmold on a rack.
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