I’ve been baking this cake since ever, I can literally make it with my eyes closed. In the recent years I’ve made a gluten free version and it’s even better, the crust is delicate and flakey. Use any of your favourite cooking apples. I’ve been using recently Elstars which are not proper cooking apples but their flavour is so rich and they are sweeter than cooking apples which means I can reduce the amount of added sweetener; I only use 3(!) table spoons of maple syrup for the whole cake, that’s almost nothing per serving, and it’s absolutely sweet enough. Use the best apples you can get because this cake is based entirely on their flavour.
For the filling:
6 large cooking apples (or Elstars), peeled and sliced (5-6 mm thick)
A knob of butter or coconut fat, or a mixture of both
Half a vanilla pod, small seeds are scraped out and pod kept
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A squeeze of lemon
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups wholemeal gluten free flour ( I used a combination of oat, millet and rice)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp baking powder
Zest from 1 organic lemon
50 gr butter, 50gr coconut fat
1 organic free range egg
Preheat your oven to a 170 Celsius degrees on fan mode.
Melt the butter or coconut fat in a large frying pan. Add the apples and cook them, wile tossing gently, on a medium high heat. You only want to soften them a little and not fully cook. About 8-10 minute in total. Half away through add the vanilla seeds and pod and the cinnamon. When the apples has soften, add the maple and lemon juice and cook for another minute on high heat just to caramelise the apples a bit and reduce the juices. Set aside to cool down.
Wile the apples are cooling down, make the crust. Place flours, baking powder, lemon zest and butter/ fat in the container of a food processor. Using the plastic blade, process to a crumbly texture. Add the egg and process again only till a bowl of dough forms. If you don’t have a food processor, no problem, you can do it by hand in a bowl.
Lay a large square of baking paper on your work surface and dust it with some extra flour. Place the ball of dough in the middle, dust a little flour on it and roll it our to a 33 cm diameter circle. Arrange the cooked apples on it, leaving margins of about 4-5 cm all around. Now lift the edges of the dough and fold it over the apples. Do it using the baking paper; lifting, holding the paper, folding over and peeling off the paper from the dough. Repeat all around.
Slide the cake with the baking paper to a baking sheet and place in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or till the crust is golden brown and the apples are nicely caramelised.
Note: you can use all butter or coconut fat or a mixture of both. If you are using coconut fat, use the odourless kind.