This is a super-yummy cake that you can whip together easily once you’ve got your mise en place under control. Start by preparing all your apples at once then just break off what you need to sauté for the cake first, and put the ones for the topping in a bowl off to the side. After you’ve grated the lemon zest for the cake, squeeze the juice from the lemon and toss it with the reserved apples for the topping this adds flavor and keeps them from turning brown while you make the cake.
If you really have it together, you can make the topping ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the cake. You don’t even have to serve the topping warm, but I think it’s really special this way. This topping is great over ice cream, on pancakes, or, of course, on second helpings of cake!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Granny Smith or other baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
- 5 large eggs, separated, plus 2 additional whites
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 grated lemon juice and zest (reserve the juice for the topping)
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- ½ cup Vin Santo
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 Granny Smith or other baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges each
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup Vin Santo
- 1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, toss in the apples, and cook until they begin to soften, 7 to 9 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Beat the mixture with a whisk until very thick, very pale, and doubled in size, then whisk in the olive oil and Vin Santo. Gently whisk in the flour. Reserve.
- Put all 7 egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can use a hand beater here if you don’t have a stand mixer) and using the whisk attachment beat the whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold one-third of the whites into the cake batter until just combined to do this, use a rubber spatula to lift the whites gently from underneath, bring the spatula up, turn it over, and fold the whites over as you rotate the bowl slowly. You want to do this gently and quickly; the point is to keep as much air in the whites as you can. Repeat this process two more times with the remaining whites. You’re done when you have a fluffy, homogeneous mixture.
- Brush the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and arrange the sautéed apples in an even layer on top of the cake.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, remove the sides of the springform, and let the cake cool completely. For the Topping
- Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and swirl or stir to combine. Add the apples and toss to coat well. Add the raisins and Vin Santo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft but still hold their shape. Turn off the heat and reserve.
- Meanwhile, combine the mascarpone and granulated sugar in a small bowl. TASTE! Mmmmm…
- Serve a slice of the cake with the warm apple topping and garnish with a spoonful of the sweetened mascarpone.