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French Fare

An apple cake, just like you’d find at the patisserie.

by Jean Hecker

My sister Linda spent the entire summer at the beach. She would go four or five times a week to Avalon and just loved it. Me? I spent the entire summer sitting outside in my backyard reading books about Provence. She would text me that she was on her way to the beach and I would answer back that I was off to SOF (South of France). I got just as tan as she did without the drive!

November starts the holiday season, so it’s time to decorate and to start baking. Here is one of my favorite cakes with a nice little French flair. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee or tea and be sure to serve it to your holiday guests. Tell them they can pretend they are now in France!

French Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Calvados (French Apple Brandy; don’t worry, you’ll find other uses for it, great for just sipping too!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples diced into one-inch chunks

Caramel sauce – use your favorite recipe or purchase pre-made from the market.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly butter a springform pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, spices, and baking powder together.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until light and frothy, beat in brandy and vanilla. Stir in half of flour mixture, add in half of melted butter, then the flour, then the rest of the butter. Fold in apples and transfer to a prepared pan.

I like to wrap the bottom of the springform in foil and set on baking sheet. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Cool for seven minutes in pan, then remove sides. Serve warm with your favorite ice cream, caramel sauce or whipped cream, or just sprinkle with powered sugar.

Jean Hecker has a BA in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.

Food for Thought