This moist, rustic cake reminds me of apple pancakes; the batter is thin, there are more apples than batter and the cake does not rise very high. But it was a favorite of my friend Edgardo Sandoli who ran a cooking school in Montalcino, a quiet little Tuscan town home to famous Brunello di Montalcino wine. After we finished teaching cooking classes, we would sit at his kitchen table and enjoy this cake with a glass of wine.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing enough for a 1-inch overhang. Butter and flour the foil and set the pan aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
1 tablespoons grated lemon zest
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 cups sliced Golden Delicious apples (about 4 or 5 large)
2 tablespoons warm apple jelly or apricot jam
In a large bowl beat the eggs with the sugar with a hand held mixer until the mixture is fluffy and lemon colored. Beat in the vanilla and heavy or sour cream. Stir in the lemon zest.
On a sheet of wax paper sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. On medium speed beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the apples.
Pour the batter into the foil lined pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the apples are nicely browned.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack. Brush the top of the cake with the warm apricot jam.
Let the cake cool to warm. Lift the cake out of the pan with the foil. Carefully remove the foil and discard. Serve the cake cut into squares.
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