2011-09-15 / Features

Apple Afficionados Rejoice!

Apple lovers will love the following recipe for “Gateau de Pommes” from “The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market Cookbook” (Chronicle Books). Simple and old-fashioned, this recipe allows the apple to take center stage.

Gateau aux Pommes
Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
4 pounds tart apples
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

Preheat oven to 150 F. Select a 6-cup souffle dish. Cut out a round of parchment that fits snugly just inside the dish, to use for covering the apples. Butter the bottom and sides of the dish and one side of the parchment with the butter.

In a food processor, combine the orange zest and sugar and pulse until the zest is completely incorporated into the sugar. Put the orange juice in a large bowl.

Working with one apple at a time, core the whole apple and, using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, thinly slice it crosswise to create rings. Immediately toss the apple slices in the orange juice to prevent browning. Repeat with the remaining apples, adding them to the bowl.

Arrange the apple slices, overlapping them, in the prepare souffle dish and lightly sprinkle each layer with the orange zestsugar mixture. Top with the parchment round, buttered side down. Bake until the apples are meltingly soft, 12 to 14 hours or up to overnight.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool until just warm. Gently press down on the parchment and then pour off any accumulated juices into a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the juices thicken and caramelize slightly, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the parchment carefully and invert a flat serving plate larger than the souffle dish over the top. Holding the plate firmly to the dish, flip them together. Lift off the dish, leaving the cake on the plate. Drizzle the caramelized juices over the cake.

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