Friday, October 8, 2010

Apple Cake with a Crackly Meringue

Dear Oven,

            There comes a time in every relationship when the honeymoon period becomes the comfortable, sometimes I take you for granted period.  I know there has been a lack of communication between us.  Sometimes there are days that we don’t get to talk or hang out.  I miss those days.  I know I have been busy and I may be busier in the weeks to come.  Please understand…I think about you everyday.  I dream about our warmest memories and what the power of our relationship can become in the future. 

                                                I miss you.

                                                                        Love, me

My dream of my blog getting me into my kitchen more has been sidelined for a while.  I have been so busy that I only have been able to bake or cook dinner once a week.  I promise I will blog at least once a week and if my schedule allows, perhaps more.  I am looking forward to the harvest and the upcoming holiday season and sharing my recipes with you.  Thank-you all, for your continuing support.

 My oven and I did have a date with greatness this week.  My house is over flowing with an abundance of apples and my favorite way to eat them, besides with cheese, is in a cake.  I found this recipe, Apple Cake with a Crackly Meringue in a cookbook called, “The Italian Country Table”, by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.  The cookbook is filled with comfort dishes from all over Italy and stories about the home cooks that have produced them.  There are beautiful rustic dishes in the book that don’t seem that hard to make and if I had time, I definitely would. 

Apple Cake with a Crackly Meringue is a show stopper.  It has so many levels of deliciousness I don’t know where to begin.  The crust has a buttery cookie flavor, the cake itself is moist and dense and sweet and lemony.  The meringue tops the cake off with a crispy, chewy shell that holds the moisture in the cake.  YUM!


Apple Cake with a Crackly Meringue
     Torta di Mele

Make 1 9-inch cake, I doubled the recipe and made 2.

2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Generous pinch of salt
1 ½ sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Shredded zest on 1 large lemon
2 large apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Gala), peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces*
1 large egg white

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375.  Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl, with your fingertips, rub together the 2 cups flour, the 1 ½ cups sugar, the salt, and butter until crumbly.
  3. Remove 1 cup of the crumbs and press them over the bottom of the pan and about ½ inch up the sides, make a crust about 1/8 inch thick
  4. Make a well in the remaining crumb mixture.  Add the milk, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, the remaining 3 tablespoons flour and the baking powder.
  5. With a whisk blend the mixture thoroughly without incorporating the crumbs.
  6. Then, with a wooden spoon stir in the crumbs until well blended but still a little lumpy.  Fold in the apples.
  7. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  8. In a small bowl, beat the egg white until foamy
  9. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until the whites barely stand in peaks.
  10. Spread over the top of the batter.
  11. Bake 65 to 75 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  12. Remove from the oven and cool 30 minutes on a wire rack.
  13. Slip off the sides of the pan and finish cooling the cake.  Serve at room temperature.

Covered in plastic wrap, the cake holds well at cool room temperature up to 2 days.  It keeps a week in refrigerator.  (If it last that long)
*I used a variety of apples for the cake.  I don’t know the names of them, but they are pictured above.


  1. Yum! I am sure your oven forgave you after putting that beautiful cake in to bake. I can only imagine the warm fragrant aroma wafting out of it. A heavenly looking cake.

  2. An oven is hungry machine, but I am sure yours has forgiven you for creating this gorgeous looking cake.

  3. mmm. that meringue sounds so interesting!

  4. The meringue turned black after 65 min. in the oven, though the cake was not over-baked. What do you recommend to avoid this?
    Thank you.

  5. I am sorry it took so long to get back to you. Thank you for making this recipe! I noticed that the sides of my cake are a little dark as well. I would think covering the top with foil if it starts to become too dark. Did you end up eating it? Was it too dry? Thanks for following!