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Passover Pareve Apple Cake

When it was given to me, this recipe originally specified flour, not matzo cake meal. I didn’t think it was very good, but I made it a few times anyway, as my family and friends liked it. Obsessing over how to improve the recipe to make it more to my own liking, it dawned on me that someone had converted a perfectly good Passover cake into an everyday cake and that if I converted it back it would be much better. I love it now, and everyone I have served it to raves about it. One day I didn’t have quite enough ground cinnamon, however, and I blended together a substitute with the teaspoon of cinnamon I had plus ground nutmeg, mace, and ginger to fill out the tablespoon measure. That was yet another improvement.–Arthur Schwartz

LC Mother of Invention Note

Sure, you can stick with the tried and trusted tablespoon of cinnamon for the topping on this cake. All we’re saying is that it might be more fun to try a spice blend of your own devising. Arthur’s recommendations are nutmeg, mace and ginger, but there’s no need to stop there. How about throwing in a pinch of cardamom, allspice or clove? Trust your instincts…and whatever you have in the spice rack.

Passover Pareve Apple Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Makes one 8-inch-square cake

Ingredients

  • For the topping
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, or a combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and ginger
  • For the cake
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup matzo cake meal
  • 5 medium apples, , preferably Golden Delicious, Crispin (Mutzu), or other apples that keep their shape when cooked, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Lightly oil an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
  • 2. Mix together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • 3. In a bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until well mixed. Beat in the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until the mixture is thick and foamy. Beat in the oil, adding it in a steady stream. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the spatula, stir in the matzo cake meal, blending well.
  • 4. Pour half the batter mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle about half the topping mixture evenly over the batter. Top with half the apples and all the raisins. Scrape the remaining batter over the apples, spreading it out to cover the apples. Arrange the remaining apples on top of the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping mixture.
  • 5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the sides of the cake pull away very slightly from the baking dish and the topping has begun to caramelize. (A cake tester is not reliable. It will not come out clean due to the moist richness of this cake.) Let the cake cool in the baking dish for several hours, until completely cool, before cutting it into serving portions. This cake is yet another Yiddish food that improves with age. Keep the cake in its dish, covered tightly with plastic, and the next day the topping will have become a moist, candy-like coating.
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