Bolzano Apple Cake

Bolzano Apple Cake - trust in kim

This delicious cake was one of my contributions for a Thanksgiving dinner.  I had wanted to bring an apple pie, but I didn’t feel like making a crust, so I was happy to discover this recipe on the Whisk and a Spoon blog.  (original recipe from The Essential New York Times Cookbook)  It is a lot easier to make than a pie, and the tartness of the Granny Smith apples balances well with the custard-like sweetness of the cake, which is highlighted by real vanilla bean.  It tasted amazing on day two when eaten at room temperature.

What you need:

8 tablespoons/1 stick unsalted butter, plus some for greasing the pan

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 & 1/4 pounds (3-4 medium Granny Smith apples)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk, room temperature

What you do:

1. Line an 8-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and smear it with butter. Dust with flour and remove any excess. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

3. Split the vanilla pod in half and reserve the seeds.  Put the pod into the warm butter.

4. Peel, quarter and core the apples, then slice them thinly. (I used a mandoline, but you could do it with a large knife.)

5. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with half the sugar, then gradually add the rest of the sugar while beating.  The batter should form ribbons when you lift the beaters. Add the vanilla seeds to the batter.

6. Remove the vanilla pod from the butter and stir the butter into the batter.

7. Combine the flour and baking powder, adding it alternately with the milk, ending with flour. Stir in the apples, making sure each piece of apple is coated.  Pour the batter into the spring-form pan and smooth the surface with a spatula.

8. Place the spring-form pan on a baking sheet in case there is any leaking, and bake for 25 minutes.  Then rotate the pan and bake for 25 minutes more.  The cake should pull away from the sides and become brown on top; when you insert a knife it should come out clean.  Cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

The original recipe suggests serving it with a sprinkling of icing sugar, but I’m not a big fan of that, so I served it on its own, and it was Awesome!

bolzano apple cake - trust in kim

Brandied Cherries

In the middle of winter you are going to pull out a jar of these, and all the warmth of summer will come flooding back, just long enough to warm you up.

It’s really easy.  You just need:

a few canning jars (but we’re not doing proper canning, so don’t worry!)

some fresh, plump cherries (I used Bing and Rainier so it would look pretty)

a little maple syrup

vanilla bean


Here’s what you do:

1.  Wash your jars and lids.

2.  Stuff as many cherries as you can into each jar without squishing them.

3.  Cut small pieces of vanilla bean and put one in each jar.

4.  Drizzle a little maple syrup in each jar.

5.  Top up with brandy.

6.  Screw the lids on tight and wait a few months.

7.  Enjoy straight out of the jar, or on top of some vanilla pudding or ice cream in the dead of winter.