Chile is home to a fairly large community of German settlers and their descendants. This simple drunken apple cake recipe, whose Germanic origin is reflected in its name, is out of the ordinary. When it is cut, you see three layers of cake enclosing two bands of creamy apple mixture, which can be gooey or custard-like in places, depending on how the batter and apples have been distributed. It makes a wonderful pudding, served while still warm from the oven, although it is equally delicious when it cools and sets.–Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
LC Articulating Apples Note
To define a “type” of tart apple that’s perfect for this recipe is sort of like trying to define a particular “type” of artistic genius like Michelangelo or da Vinci. Can’t really be done in so many words. That said, some relatively common types that fall somewhere on the tartish side of appledom include Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Northern Spy, and Tydeman. Better yet, ask your local apple guy at the greenmarket—chances are you’ll end up with the perfect local variety, quite possibly something of the vintage heirloom variety. Just be mindful not to confuse “tart” with “sour.” Save the mouth-puckering Granny Smiths and Greenings for another recipe.
Special Equipment: 9-inch or 9 1/2-inch spring-form pan, at least 2 3/4 inches high
Drunken Apple Cake Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours | Serves 10 to 12
- For the filling
- 1 1/2 pounds tart apples (about 5 medium-size apples)
- Generous 1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) heavy cream
- For the cake
- 2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 11 tablespoons (5 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
- Generous 1 cup (8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 tablespoons rum (any rum will do quite nicely)
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- Make the apple filling
- 1. Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and then cut each wedge lengthwise into slender slices.
- 2. In a bowl, combine the sugar and cream. Add the apples. Set aside until needed.
- Make the batter
- 3. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Butter the pan and dust with flour.
- 4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside.
- 5. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl, either with an electric mixer or by hand, until smooth and creamy. Add the lightly beaten eggs to the butter mixture in 4 batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition. Gently fold in the flour in 4 batches, adding the rum and water with the third batch. Stop mixing as soon as the last batch of flour is incorporated.
- 6. Divide the batter into 3 portions. (You can eyeball it, but each portion should be about 1 cup or so.) Scrape 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Spoon half of the apple and cream mixture evenly over the batter, leaving a 1/2-inch plain border around the edge and smoothing the slices so they’re neat and level. Scrape another 1/3 of the batter on top of the apples and cream and smooth the surface, spreading the batter all the way to the edge of the pan. Spoon the remaining apples and cream evenly on top of the batter, and then top with the third and final batch of batter, smoothing it all the way to the edge of the pan, which will be quite full.
- 7. Bake the cake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, then release the sides of the pan and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Your drunken apple cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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Drunken Apple Cake Recipe © 2009 Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra. Photo © 2009 Vanessa Courtier. All rights reserved.