Heavenly Apple Cake
"In my family we always inaugurate the Jewish New Year with our first apple dessert of the fall season. The tradition in Andra's home is to begin the year with a round challah and to end it with a cake topped with concentric circles of sliced apples. This dessert is very similar to Jewish apple cake, a Polish dessert that was very popular in church cookbooks throughout Maryland. I believe it is called Jewish because it is an oil-based rather than a butter-based cake. Andra's version is particularly easy, attractive, and delicious." - J. Nathan.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 small Rome, Granny Smith, Yellow Delicious, or other low-moisture apples
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
- Mix the flour, wheat germ, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into eighths and place in another bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- In a third bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the vegetable oil and 1 3/4 cups of the sugar; beat well. Stir in the vanilla.
- To the egg mixture; alternately add the dry ingredients and the orange juice. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with half the sliced apples.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle half over the apples. Cover with the remaining batter.
- Starting at the outside of the pan, neatly place the remaining apple slices in overlapping concentric circles. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Put some aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven in case the batter leaks. Bake the cake on the middle rack for 1 1/4 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack before you carefully remove the cake from the pan.
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake.
Recipe from: The Jewish Holiday Baker , by Joan Nathan.