Passover Apple Jam Cake
with Sweet Marsala
My girlfriend Shirley, a gifted chef, considers this more of a pudding than a cake.
However, it is a cake without a cake crumb. Instead you get a radical force of apples that slice into cake wedges. The apples are held together by the thin glue of a couple of eggs and very little potato starch. A small wedge of cake will suffice. There is no denying that this will be the richest Passover apple cake you’ve ever tasted. If, while foraging, you happen to come upon Braeburn, Winesaps or Macoun apples, they would all be welcomed in this recipe. I have been known to use all of them inside the same Apple jam cake. Apples varieties matter. They all have different personalities and we slight them and our own sensibilities when we take them for granted. All apples are not the same. Most of the time, apples are not interchangeable.
A Rome apple cooks into a baked apple. A Granny Smith won’t.
A thinly sliced apple is what you want. I use a trusty pareve mandoline to quickly slice up all the peeled apples. By all means use a food processing blade to get your apples thinly sliced. You will find this recipe very forgiving. The cake can be baked pareve. I substitute olive oil for the butter. I highly recommend using a vanilla bean. Apples especially benefit from the vanilla beans unique properties. They mingle to become pure poetry in the mouth.
2½ lbs. apples: peeled, thinly sliced (Macoun, Braeburn, Winesap, Empire or golden delicious
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or fruity olive oil
1½ cups sugar
1 vanilla bean scraped, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup Kosher for Passover sweet Marsala wine (like Kedem) . Dark rum can be used in everyday preparation
½ cup potato starch
2 extra-large eggs, checked
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 lemon’s zest, finely grated
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
Prepare an 8” cake pan. Brush with butter or oil. Dust with flour. Or use a non-stick spray. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment.
Peel the apples.
Using a mandolin: Adjust the mandoline to thinly slice. Slice one side of the apple until you reach the core. Slice the other side, then finish slicing the remaining sides. Repeat. Set sliced apples aside.
Food processor: Choose thinnest slicing plate. Cut and core the apples. Feed through the food processor.
Gently warm the butter (or olive oil). Add in the sliced apples and sugar. Stir.
Place the vanilla bean in front of you.
Carefully cut the vanilla pod lengthwise into two equal pieces. Use a small knife to scrape the bean’s inner caviar from the insides of both halves. Scrape the “caviar” into the cooking apples and stir. The vanilla caviar will disperse during further mixing. Set the vanilla pod aside or place into sugar.
Alternately, use one-tablespoon vanilla extract.
Add in ½ cup of sweet Marsala (or dark rum). Cook on low and stir occasionally until the apples have a thick consistency and hardly any liquid remains. About 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325º F (convection if available).
Remove vanilla bean: wash, air dry and place in sugar jar.
Scrape the cooked apples out into a mixing bowl. Cool.
Whisk the eggs, ¼ cup remaining wine or rum, potato starch and kosher salt together. Make sure there are no lumps.
Add the egg mixture into the apples. Mix well.
Mix the lemon rind with 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
Pour and scrape the apple-egg mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle the top evenly with the lemon sugar.
Bake for 50 minutes.
Small wedges are recommended.
Recipe:Kosher, Passover, dairy or parve
Lauren Stacy Berdy earned her professional diploma from Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, Paris, France in 1978, then spent a few years working in Europe before bringing it home. She spent more than three decades as a private chef-caterer.
Lauren resides 130 paces from the beach with her husband in Hollywood, Florida, where she wrote Remaining Kosher Volume One: A Cookbook For All With A Hechsher In Their Heart. This iBook is available on iTunes. Volume Two is well on its way.