In Italy, the apple cake is one of the most popular homemade desserts.
Likewise popular are the tarts. At my home ciambella was also very appreciated.
When I was a child, my nonna made one of it almost every day, at that time breakfast and merenda were always cooked at home.
What I’m sharing here today is the recipe for a special apple upside down cake.
Have you ever tasted it?
Apple upside down cake.
Everyone loves apple cake, it never gets old and fills the house with fragrance and memories because every Italian family has at least one recipe from their grandmother that makes that dessert unique.
It is the recipe of the first experiments in the kitchen and, for me, the first dessert I remember together with my grandmother’s ciambella. Although, for the ciambella as for the apple pie, I should use the plural because nonna had many different versions of both.
I don’t really know why but, until now, I had never published an homemade apple cake recipe on the blog. Here you can find the slightly exotic one with apples and matcha tea, the rustic apple cake with buckwheat flour, but no recipe from home. I am happy to fill this gap with an apple upside down cake that, in my opinion, a apple cake lover should try.
The characteristic of this cake is that grandma used plenty of apples, and raisins, for a fairly modest amount of batter. Basically, it involves pouring a little batter over a “box of fruit” and letting it find its own way through the apple pieces. During cooking, in contact with the apples, the batter will cook, remaining soft and smooth as if it were a cream.
The trick to a successful cake.
What I share as a trick was something that grandma (and like her all the people of her generation), knew well: fruit is all different.
Depending on the variety, but also on the climate, the fruit may hold a surprise which, in the oven, could become a problem for the cooking.
Did you know that an apple is about 85% water?
When making a dessert with fresh fruit, after washing, drying and cutting it, let it rest in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of sugar for a few hours or overnight. It will have time to release its water.
Tip: drain the fruit from the liquid but do not discard the liquid. On the contrary, you can use it in sweet preparations to replace other liquid parts such as milk, for example. You can store the filtered sugary liquid in a jar or bottle.
I leave you with the recipe. An apple upside down cake of almost spring in this february of warm, sunny days. Waiting for march to find out if winter has really given way to the new season.
Buona cucina, Monica
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To decorate the upside down cake, I used icing sugar. To prevent it from creating an unattractive effect (lumpy and wet!) when it came into contact with the fruit, I dusted the entire surface using a sieve, then I used a kitchen brush to create the striped effect you see in the photos and which remained as you see it, with that woven effect that I like very much.
You can use purpose or spelt flour.
In the original recipe, nonna also added 100g of finely chopped candied citron.
Apple upside down cake
mould, 20 cm diameter
caster sugar, 150g + 4 tablespoons
Normal eggs, 2
icing sugar to decorate
salt, a pinch
filtered juice of half a lemon, optional
rum, if you like
Soak the raisins in water and rum (half water and half rum) for about an hour.
After this time, peel the apples, remove the core and cut them into small pieces.
Put the apples in a large bowl, add one or two tablespoons of sugar and mix with your hands so that all the fruit comes into contact with the sugar.
Drain the raisins and pour into the bowl of apples, mix again, cover with plastic and leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. I usually let it sit for a long time.
Then separate the fruit from the liquid that you have to set aside.
Mix flour, salt and sugar together and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C degrees, static function.
Beat the eggs with an electric whisk, add the dry part and incorporate with the whisk.
If you see that the dough is not slow enough, add the liquid from the apples but, if it is too much, add a little at a time until the batter is smooth and fairly slow.
Line a baking tray with baking paper, sprinkle the bottom with two tablespoons of sugar, pour in the apples and raisins to form a high, even layer, then pour the mixture over the fruit.
Add the batter turning the mould with your free hand so that it is evenly distributed over the apples.
Place the cake in the oven, lower the temperature to 170C degrees and bake for about 35 minutes.
Test the cooking with a wooden toothpick, when it comes out dry the cake is ready.
If it seems to be getting too dark, cover with aluminium foil.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool before flipping.
Dust the inverted cake with icing sugar and brush the surface to create the woven effect.