This French Apple Cake Is the “Perfect Fall Dessert” and It Has a Secret Ingredient

Apple pie is seeing some serious competition this fall.

<p>Chief John</p>
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French apple cake is a classic in France, but it deserves a much bigger place in American homes, especially in the fall when apples are at their peak. This dessert has all the comfort and rustic appeal of an apple pie or apple pie, but in a decadent custard-like cake.

What is French apple cake?

The exact origins of the French apple cake, or “Gâteau aux Pommes,” are difficult to trace, but the dessert is deeply rooted in French culinary traditions, where pastries with seasonal fruits are common. Chef John’s version includes diced Honeycrisp apples (skin on) and dark rum for a richer flavor. However, you won’t see any of the classic fall flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in this cake and to be honest, you won’t miss them. Sweet apples, balanced by dark rum, deliver all the fall flavor you need.

“You can’t go wrong with Chef John, but this time he even outdid himself,” says one Allrecipes community member. “This cake is elegant and full of unexpected flavors. The rum really highlights the apple, even if you can’t really identify it.

However, there’s a special addition that Chef John uses to take this classic cake up a notch, and it brings even more apple flavor (as well as a touch of tartness).

The Secret Ingredient in Chef John’s French Apple Cake

While Chef John follows a traditional recipe in many ways, he adds an ingredient rarely seen in French recipes to the apples: apple cider vinegar.

Tossing diced apples in just two teaspoons of vinegar will prevent the fruit from browning and also enhance the flavor. The acidity and tang of the vinegar help balance the richness of the cake. This tip can be used for almost any recipe involving baking apples, but it definitely pays off here.

“When it comes to flavor, you can’t have too many layers,” says Chef John.

More Tips for French Apple Cake

  1. Many consider peeling apples to be the classic way to prepare this dessert, so if you have the time and patience, give it a try. This will give the apples a chance to soften and combine even more with the cake batter, giving you a delicious, tender bite.

  2. Make sure you start with softened butter, otherwise whipping the butter with the sugars will be a nightmare. “Sometimes nightmares are interesting,” says Chef John. “Doing this with cold butter won’t be interesting. It will just be boring.

  3. Don’t be afraid to use a different variety of apples. While Chef John only uses Honeycrisp apples to make his cake, using baking apples that are more sour or sweet (or a combination of both!) is an easy way to adjust the flavor of this dish. Some great options include: Braeburn, Cortland, Jonagold, Granny Smith and Pink Ladies.

  4. It doesn’t matter if you serve it warm or at room temperature, giving the cake a sweet finish will make it take over. Vanilla ice cream, salted caramel sauce or even a dusting of powdered sugar make delicious pairings for a simple dessert. An Allrecipes community member recommends pairing it with Haagen Dazs dulce de leche ice cream, while Chef John opts for a dollop of rum whipped cream. You really can’t go wrong.

“This humble yet amazing French apple cake is my favorite,” says Chef John. We are confident that it will quickly become a favorite in your home too.

See this recipe

Read the original article on All Recipes.

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