Paula Hurtado cuts apple halves in narrow slices, then places them on top of a firm but cake-like crust and glazes them with apricot glaze. Liberal use of lemon during the cutting process keeps the apples from turning brown before they are cooked. Serve warm.
- All-Purpose Flour - 2 cups, sifted
- Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Egg - 1
- Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 3/4 cup, melted
- Golden raisins - 1/4 cup
- Walnuts - 1/4 cup, chopped
- Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Cinnamon - 2 tablespoons
- Granny Smith apples - 6
- Lemons - 2 large, cut in half vertically
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup, melted
- Apricot Jam - 1 cup
- Water - 2 tablespoons
- Lemon - 1/2
- Granny Smith apple - 1
- Red Delicious apple - 1
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
To prepare the batter: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a baking pan. Cut a square of parchment to fit in the bottom, place the parchment in the bottom of the pan, and butter the parchment paper. Blend the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the egg until foamy and whisk in the sugar. Add the sugar-egg mixture and milk to the dry ingredients and stir to blend slightly. Add the melted butter, one third at a time, stirring until the dough comes together. Turn the dough into the prepared pan and press it out with a fork to fit the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the raisins and walnuts.
To prepare the apples: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. Cut an apple in half vertically and rub with a lemon half. Peel and core the apple halves; rub with lemon. Place on a cutting board and cut through lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick vertical wedges. Trim the ends even. Squeeze some juice from another lemon half onto the apple slices. Repeat with all apples.
To assemble the cake: Lift each apple half as a single unit with a spatula or knife, holding the slices together with your fingers, and place, curved side up, on top of the batter. Place the halves next to each other to completely pave the top with apples. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Bake until the apples are browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Melt the apricot jam in a small pan over simmering water and stir in the water. Paint the apples with the glaze. Let cool to room temperature.
To serve: Cut the apples into thin horizontal slices, leaving the skin on, and rub with the lemon half. Cut the apple cake into 9 slices and remove from the pan with a flexible spatula. Place on a large serving platter or individual serving plates and garnish with a few of the crisp apple slices. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.