Balzano Apple Cake

By • November 8, 2010 • 6 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe hails from Lampreia, a Seattle restaurant, and was originally printed in the food section of the New York Times in Spetember 2004. The roots of Balzano apple cake lie in the Alto Adige region of Italy, where Lampreia's Scott Carsberg trained as a young chef. There, Carsberg worked at the Michelin one-star restaurant, Villa Mozart, whose menu reflected the simple foods of the region and whose chefs taught him how to make Balzano apple cake, a classic northern Italian peasant dessert. Over twenty years later, Carsberg put the cake on his menu, serving it with caramel ice cream. Yum.Alexandra Stafford

Serves 8 to 10

  • 4 ounces butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 Fuji apples
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease a nine-inch circle pan with butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place inside pan. Grease sides of pan and parchment round with butter.
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan. Set aside. Beat together eggs and half of sugar in a bowl. Continue to beat while slowly adding remaining sugar until thick — it should form a ribbon when dropped from spoon.
  3. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds into the egg-sugar mixture and add pod to melted butter.
  4. Peel apples and cut straight down around the core into four big chunks. Discard the core then slice the apple pieces thinly.
  5. Remove vanilla pod from butter and discard. Stir butter into sugar-egg mixture. Combine flour, salt and baking powder, then stir into batter alternating with the milk. Stir in apples, coating every piece with batter. Pour batter into pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, then rotate the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, until cake pulls away from pan and is brown on top. Cool for at least 30 minutes, then cut into wedges sprinkling each with powdered sugar if desired.
Jump to Comments (6)

Tags: apple, cake, serves a crowd

Comments (6) Questions (0)

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almost 2 years ago Gargamel

Wonderful cake. I have made it numerous time. The last time I made it, I added a 1/4 cup of walnut powder (my friend brought it back for me from Hungary) and correspondingly augmented the amount of liquid (I added apple cider). I've also been serving this cake (traditional way or not) with a bourbon-flavored whipped cream. People love it!

Astafford

almost 2 years ago Alexandra Stafford

Gargamel — so happy to hear this! I am so intrigued by walnut powder. Is it like almond flour but with walnuts? I bet it adds a wonderful flavor. Love the idea of the bourbon whipped cream.

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almost 2 years ago Gargamel

It is, like almond meal but with walnuts. It's used a lot in Hungarian baking but I've seen it here. It'd probably cost a fortune! But it does add a really nice touch and it still keeps the cake really moist.

Astafford

almost 2 years ago Alexandra Stafford

Haha, you're probably right. Very cool. Thanks so much for the info.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Love this! Reminds me of the simple apple cake my host mother in Florence made throughout the fall, when I was living there. On my "must make soon" list, especially now that good baking apples are available locally. ;o)

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Sounds yummy! I like your time-saving apple cutting technique. I like the name too - it means "odd" in Italian. I wonder why it got that name?