Gluten-Free French Apple Cake

 

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It is a beautiful confection–perfect for fall picnics. Because it is naturally light on flour, it converted amazingly well using my gluten-free flour blend and a little almond flour for flavor and structure. I think you will LOVE it. And yes, it smells so good when it’s baking in the oven.

If you are looking for a great visual on what variety of apples are best for this cake (besides the Granny Smith), or for that applesauce you were planning on making this weekend, check out this amazing infographic created by Sean Seidell, one of my friends from high school.  I wish we had it hanging for reference at the apple ranch where I worked!

Gluten-Free French Apple Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

serves 8

This French Apple Cake, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, has a rich custardy bottom, a light cake layer and a crisp sugary topping. Serve it warm, or at room temperature–either way with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges, and sliced 1/8 inch thick crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I like Pamela’s)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or coconut flour
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons organic granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum(omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 1 large egg plus 2 large yolks
  • 1 cup canola oil or coconut oil
  • 1 cup whole milk, or dairy free milk of your choosing
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and set the temperature to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with gluten-free cooking spray and place on a foil lined, rimed baking sheet.
  2. Place apple slices on a microwave safe plate or pie dish, cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes, or until apples are slightly tender and pliable. Drizzle with brandy and lemon juice and let cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Place 3/4 cup of gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add one egg, oil, milk and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Scoop out one cup of the batter and place in another medium bowl.
  4. Add egg yolks to the larger portion of the batter and whisk to combine. Fold in the cooled apple slices and pour mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset (or rubber) spatula.
  5. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour blend into the remaining batter and smooth batter evenly over the apple mixture in the pan, taking care to spread it all the way to the edges.
  6. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and bake until the center of the cake is set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake along the sides of the pan and let cool completely, about 2 hours more (if you can). Cut into wedges and serve.