The first time I saw this Apple Kuchen from “The French Laundry” I was pretty much in love. Such a pretty cake decorated with apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. This cake has a delicate moist texture within a crisp outer crust. The cake itself is not overly sweet but melts in your mouth when you drizzle a bit of warm Vanilla Cream Sauce over top. A simple dessert that looks like you fussed for hours. But once you find how easy it is to prepare, you’ll want to make it again and again!
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside for the dry ingredients. You’ll also need some sugar, butter, an egg, 1 or 2 apples depending on size and some cinnamon sugar. The original recipe called for some nutmeg but I wasn’t feeling it so I left it out.
Pour the batter into a buttered and floured 9 inch round cake pan. Begin adding the apples starting in the center. If you have smaller apples you can get more slices arranged in the cake. My honey crisp apples were huge and made it harder to get the arrangement I wanted but it turned out nonetheless.
Combine a tablespoon of sugar to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix well and sprinkle over top of cake batter and apples. You don’t have to use it all. I reserved a little bit and sprinkled over the kuchen after it was baked and it sure looked pretty. Set this in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes.
After 40 minutes I tested with a toothpick and it came out clean. Let cake cool completely in the pan before trying to remove it. This kuchen just slid out so easy once it was cooled. Run a knife around the edges and you should have no problems.
While the cake is cooling, it’s time to make the Vanilla Cream Sauce. In a small sauce pan combine 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons butter and a splash of vanilla. I halved the original recipe and it made plenty for this cake.
“French Laundry’s” Apple Kuchen with Vanilla Cream Sauce
6 tablespoons Butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Milk
1 – 2 Apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used Honey Crisp Apples)
1 tablespoon Sugar plus 1 teaspoon Cinnamon mixed together for sprinkling over cake
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and egg until light and creamy.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add about half of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk until all have been combined.
Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan with butter and flour. Scrape the batter from the bowl and spread into the cake pan. Starting in the center place apple slices into the batter. Place slices around the outer edges until you have made a pattern like a spoke wheel.
Sprinkle the top of batter and apples with the cinnamon-sugar mix and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
Vanilla Cream Sauce** I reduced the original recipe by half and had plenty for the kuchen
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Sugar
4 tablespoons Butter
Splash of Vanilla
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, butter and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and continue to stir 20 – 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and will coat the back of a spoon. Serve warm over Apple Kuchen slices. Refrigerate any unused portion.