This time of year, it seems the overwhelming flavor that is out there is pumpkin. Pumpkin latte, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin soda even! Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that it is pumpkin season, but I quickly lose interest in the flavor. But one flavor that is perfect for fall, and I can’t seem to get enough of, is apple! I love apple crisp, apple pie, and definitely, this Jewish Apple Cake. It’s an easy recipe, just stirring the apples with cinnamon and sugar, mixing the batter in one bowl, and then layering the rich dessert in a tube pan.
I am not really sure where the name comes from, but it’s the name that my grandmother, and everyone else in the family for that matter, has always used to describe this cake. I’ve heard the name could come from the fact that there is no dairy in the cake, so you could eat it at a meal that has meat in it, not conflicting with Jewish law. Sounds like a good answer, but who really knows. I just know it’s delicious!
To start, peel, core, and slide 4 apples. I usually mix the apples for this, using a few sweet like Gala, and a few tart like Granny Smith, but honestly, any apple will do. And, a little tip here, try using a melon baller to scoop out the cores. It goes really fast, and it save most of the apples. Put the slices in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar. Stir and let sit while you prepare the batter. As the apples sit, their juices will start to run and you’ll have a lovely, syrupy pile!
In a large bowl, stir together 4 eggs with 2 cups sugar. Add 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/4 cup orange juice. Then add 3 cups flour and 4 teaspoons baking powder. The batter will be thick and sticky, but that’s it, your batter is ready!
Grease and flour a tube pan, then layer in the batter and apples. Start with a little bit of batter, then add a layer of apples, and continue till you’re at the top. End with the batter. And make sure you get all of the juice from the apples in there. Don’t worry if it looks like there is hardly any batter. It will puff up and surround the apples, and just be perfect!
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes-1 hour 20 minutes. You want a toothpick to come out clean. The top will be crisp, and the inside will be dense and rich. Let it cool in the tube pan, then just run a knife around the edges to release.