A big, floppy dollop of boozy, slightly sweet whipped cream takes this cake over the top. Wanting to keep this cake simple, I also had to restrain myself from adding any extra ingredients although I had a block of quince paste (membrillo) that would have been nice cut into tiny cubes and mixed into the batter, or caramel cut into little cubes, or toasted walnut or pecans, or, or, or.....I used a huge, flaked Japanese sugar on top of this cake (you can see it in the photo), but any big-grain sugar will help lend a nice crunchy, sweet, sugar crust. If you don't have whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached all-purpose flour will work as a more conventional substitute.
2 cups sweet, crisp red apples, cut into 1/4 cubes (peel on)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dark Muscavado sugar (or other fine-grain natural cane or brown sugar), lump-free
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
3 tablespoons large grain sugar
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Butter and flour (or line bottom with parchment paper) one 9-inch square baking dish or tart pan, you can also bake it in a 9x13 pan but really keep a close eye on it after 20 minutes - it will be quite thin.
Place the chopped apples in a bowl of water along with the juice of one lemon. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl. And in a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined - try not to over mix. Now drain the apple, shake off any excess water, and fold the apples into the cake batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges. Sprinkle with most of the large grain sugar. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cake is just set and a touch golden on top. I like this cake every-so-slightly under-baked, just barely, remember it will cook for a little while after you remove it from the oven.
Serves about 12.
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