Heidi notes: I do have a couple tips, things I would do a bit differently next time. The main thing I will do is plunge the apple segments deep into the cake rather than arrange in a circular pattern on top. I suspect that will help keep the cake (and apples) nice and moist. Maybe I will even just stir them right into the batter before pouring into the pan, reserving a few to arrange on top. Because I ran out of room on top (whoops, I was supposed to overlap more), I ended up using less apple than the recipe called for.
The other thing is to really keep an eye on your baking time. I ended up baking for 50 minutes at 350F (after the initial 450F spurt), and if I had let it go much longer the cake would have been dry as a bone. So err on the side of slight under cooking vs. over. The cake will continue to bake on your counter for a while after you pull it out of the oven, so factor that in as well. I also couldn't resist a slight dusting of powdered sugar on top before serving. Serve warm or room temp.
2 medium tart apples such as Granny Smith
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk or plain soy milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup apple jelly, stirred over low heat until smooth
Preheat the oven to 450F. Lightly grease and flour an 8-by-3-inch springform pan. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until blended. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in the milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Arrange the apple wedges, overlapping them slightly, in a circular pattern over the batter. Brush the apples with half of the apple jelly. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes longer, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan. Brush the top of the cake with the remaining apple jelly. Cool completely on a rack. Serve at room temperature.
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