Growing up, I spent my summers in France where I passed much of my time in the kitchen with my stepmom. Every summer, I fell more and more in love with French cooking and one of the things I fell hardest for was the simple and rustic cakes that are a staple in French baking. A far cry from the fancy pastries you find in glass cases all over the country, these cakes are often mixed up in one bowl, made up of a single layer, and unadorned with frosting or glazes. They’re everyday cakes, snacking cakes for the afternoon goûter or a sweet treat, and this French Apple Cake showcases everything I love about them.
This cake is made up of a very simple batter that’s flavored with rum and vanilla and folded around plenty of roughly chopped apples that get tender and sweet in the oven. It may seem like you have too many apples, but don’t worry, it will all work out just fine. A good baking apple like braeburn or honeycrisp or gala works well here – you don’t want them to go completely to mush as they bake.
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