This Italian apple torte is easy to make, and delicious. Cooking the apples first helps concentrate the flavor and remove moisture, so the cake doesn’t get soggy. The lemon zest, although only a half teaspoon is used, is an essential ingredient – you can really taste it in the apples.
- 1/2 cup (4 oz or 125 g) plus 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter
- 3 Renette or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
- 2/3 cup (3 1/2 oz or 105 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 whole eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 oz or 250 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Confectioners' sugar (optional)
1 Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Generously butter a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan with 2 inch (5 cm) sides.
2 In a microwave, melt the butter. Pour 6 Tbsp (3 fl oz or 90 ml) of it into a small bowl or cup and set aside. Add the apple slices and the remaining butter to a large frying pan and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3 In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg yolk until blended. Add the 6 Tbsp of melted butter, the vanilla, the granulated sugar, and the lemon zest. Stir in the flour mixture and the apples. Spoon into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
4 Bake until browned, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate and lift off the pan, then invert the cake again onto the rack and let cool completely.
5 (Optional) Just before serving, place confectioners' sugar in a small sieve and dust the top of the cake.