But we had us – Un gâteau aux pommes et au cidre, un peu comme une tarte tatin

[A cider and apple cake, not unlike a tatin tart]

apple cake

There was that night made of champagne, flickering candles, crisps and smoked salmon sandwiches, the last of the foie gras smothered onto big fat chunky pieces of baguette, an endless game of trivial pursuit where – as it turned out – the one person who refused to play (my father, apparently stuck to his mots croisés) became the one who knew all the answers, our joker as we called him whenever we got clueless about a question.

Yes, there was no electricity in the house. But we had us. And a dark Christmas tree. And some apple cake.

Something I’d thrown together with things we had.

Too-much-butter, as my mum always buys when she knows I’m coming.
A lot of sugar.
A touch of honey from this beekeeper my grand-mother became very fond of.
And winter apples from M. Riouet’s orchard. And really, I say orchard when it’s more of a tree, but I can’t help it, his potager is the enchanted forest I grew up in.

This cake was meant to be nothing but rustic. A mere snack after a day spent with Bruno and his goats in the mountains.
And yet, that night, this very cake turned into dessert. Of the fancy, champagne-glass matching, kind.

apple cake sliced

Gâteau aux pommes et au cidre, un peu comme une tarte tatin

While I wouldn’t necessarily force you to have this cake as a dessert, I must say it makes a pretty decent contender. Especially with a scoop of yoghurt ice-cream or a big fat dollop of crème fraiche.

But the way I see it is much more homely. The kind of cakes that’s eaten still warm from the oven, with fingers – but I guess it’s sort of useless for me to remind you how I like to eat my cake – and a side made of tea in a pot. I think a light infusion of tilleul would do wonders here.

It’s really quite simple to make. Slice three apples thinly, a knife and your hand are enough, but you can go with the mandolin too, although I didn’t. Layer them at the bottom of your tin and drizzle with honey. Top with the batter and bake. Oh, and eat too!

Gâteau aux pommes et au cidre

serves 8-10

6 apples, peeled and cored
100g runny honey
180g butter
300g demerara sugar
2 eggs
245g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp maldon sea salt
180g apple cider
(or juice)

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Butter a 24cm cake tin, line with baking paper and set aside.

Thinly slice 3 apples and layer at the bottom of the prepared tin. Drizzle with honey and pack tightly with your hands.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.

In the meantime, chop the remaining apples into 2cm chunks.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Then, alternatively add the dry ingredients and cider to the butter mixture in three times, starting with the flour.
Finish the batter by gently folding in the apple chunks.

Pour onto the sliced apples and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then invert onto a plate and peel off the baking paper if necessary.

14 thoughts on “But we had us – Un gâteau aux pommes et au cidre, un peu comme une tarte tatin

  • Zucchero e zenzero January 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I love this entry, it’s so poetic! And I’d like to taste a cake like this (apple cakes are my favourite). Kisses! ^_^

    • fanny January 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      Thank you. It was the first time I ever made an apple cake. I grew up on apple tarts but cakes not to much. But I have the feeling this very cake is going to happen in my kitchen again. Soon! x

  • Annes Kitchen January 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Miam miam, a lovely combination! And I love the nostalgia in your photos!

    • fanny January 7, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Thank you Anne. A nostalgia made of cheap iphone app filters. Ooops. I must say though I decided to travel light and didn’t bring any camera aside from my pentax. xx

  • Sarah January 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Perfect. A cup of earl grey would be lovely, in my opinion. But then I love Earl Grey, so what do I know? Looks like a delicious cake though.

  • Graham Hornigold (@ghornigold) January 8, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Nice looking apple cake and always miss everyday magic, hope you well and speak soon. #Iloveminewithstrawberryjam

  • julia January 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

    oula je debarque moi! je viens a peine de voir que tu as changer d”adresse”!!!cool de te suivre ici et de retrouver ton univers tout doux!!

  • Aïda January 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Yummy yummy!
    Ah, cette soirée! <3

  • Needful Things January 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Simple things are the most delicious things.
    I would so love a slice of this right now.
    Bonne Annee!

  • Lucia January 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    No electricity it’s great, if you have apple cake and people you love. Thanks for sharing.

  • Veggie February 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I absolutly love this post and I love this pic of sliced apple cake. Your blog is really beautiful!

  • PS. We picked apples and made cider. Oh and an apple cake too! | My Blog December 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

    […] the milkyway above our heads the night before. And added wholewheat flour and cinnamon just so. The cake went into the oven and we went fly-fishing by the river. We saw grown-up salmons jump, and tiny […]

  • PS. We picked apples and made cider. Oh and an apple cake too! | like a strawberry milk December 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    […] the milkyway above our heads the night before. And added wholewheat flour and cinnamon just so. The cake went into the oven and we went fly-fishing by the river. We saw grown-up salmons jump, and tiny […]

  • Arturo October 30, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Wow, quite wonderful! Thank you :) Looks great and tastes better!

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