Apple and Olive Oil Cake

Monday, November 14, 2016

The rain came down in a determined drizzle yesterday, with not a ray of sunlight piercing through the dull skies, but to me it seemed beautiful. It made staying indoors working on a writing project not so bad. There was no sea calling me for a refreshing walk, no neighbors whizzing by in their little golf carts to distract me, no tempting thought of an outdoor picnic - just the steady, dripping rain. So I fixed a cup of tea and wrote all day. I mean, literally all day, except taking a tiny break to eat a bowl of leftover curry. That's what one can do when holed up in a house by the sea. At bedtime, I fell asleep to the sound of the rain, still pinging against the windows.

This morning, though, I was ready for sunshine. When my feet hit the floor at 6 AM, the mist in the air brought a slight frown to my face, and by 10:30 when the gloominess persisted, I felt downright restless. There was only one cure. I had to bake a cake.  I couldn't think about typing one more word until I let loose on some creative energy.

That's one of the reasons I love what I do - that combination of writing and cooking. I write until my fingers are positively antsy, then take a break and whip up something in the kitchen. It works really well, most of the time.  Unless I have deadlines looming, but happily that's not the case today.

So here is a lovely cake by Sunday Suppers, perfect for this Autumnal day with papery-thin slices of apple and hints of thyme.

Also, there's this darling canal behind the beach house which I've neglected to tell you about. Mostly because I've been so enamored with the view of the ocean. It's filled with fish and today when I carried my baskets outdoors to photograph the cake, an elderly gentleman stood there patiently holding his pole, line in the water, waiting for the bobber to sink with a bite.

Apple and Olive Oil Cake 

Apple and Olive Oil Cake

Recipe by Sunday Suppers
Serves 8-10


Butter for the baking dish, or parchment paper
6 large eggs
5 cups sugar
3 cups extra virgin olive oil (use a good quality olive oil)
3 cups whole milk
grated zest of one lemon
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 medium apples


Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan, or line a round cake pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the olive oil, milk and lemon zest.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just blended. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Place the lemon juice in a bowl. Peel the apples, and using a mandolin, thinly slice them, dripping the slices into the lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange the apple slices on top of the cake batter.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan before unmolding.

Note:  I used a 9-inch springform pan and a 9-inch round (layer cake) pan and there was enough batter to fill both pans. Don't be afraid to fill the batter within an inch of the top of the pan. The cake does not rise a lot. Also, the bake time may vary. If the cake needs more time but is browning too quickly, tent it with foil and continue baking. (My cake in the 9-inch springform pan required almost an hour and 45 minutes of baking time, whereas the one in the 9-inch round pan required 1 1/4 hours.)

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