French cakes, as opposed to pâtisseries, are usually simple, with few ingredients and designed to be whipped up by busy farmers' wives in time for goûter (afternoon tea). They are rather plain and not overly sweet.
This apple upsidedown cake is my version of a recipe published by Clotilde Dusoulier on Chocolate and Zucchini. I'm a keen collector of apple cake recipes since we always have boxes of apples from our own trees in the pantry.
125 g butter, melted
500 g apples, peeled and cut into eighths (using my small homegrown apples this was 10 apples, but commercial apples are about twice the size)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp almond meal
A pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
- Heat the oven to 180C and butter a 20 cm diameter soufflé dish. Line the bottom of the dish with baking paper.
- Arrange the apples on the bottom of the dish.
- Beat the eggs and sugar for two minutes with a stand mixer on high speed.
- Stop the mixer, add the combined the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) and continue on a low speed.
- Pour in the butter and continue to mix until just combined.
- Spread the batter over the apples and bake the cake for 40 minutes.
- Cool the cake for 10 minutes then run a spatula round the edges and tip out onto a plate.
- Eat while still warm. Serves 8.
I used butter from the Laiterie de Verneuil, available in local EpiService corner stores (Preuilly and Le Grand Pressigny) and the Intermarché supermarket in Yzeures sur Creuse. The eggs were supplied by a local dairy farmer who calls at the house twice a week. The flour came from Farine du Berry and is also available in the LeClerc supermarket in Yzeures. If you don't grow your own apples I recommend the organic fruit from Fruits O Kalm, the commercial orchard on the outskirts of Preuilly. They come to the market in Preuilly on Saturdays and sell juice, apple sauce (bottles of stewed puréed apple) and a range of apple varieties.