I have been scouting around for recipes that include apples to celebrate our farmhouse in Umbria named Il Casale di Mele. Mele of course translates as apples! My plan is to welcome guests who stay at our guest farmhouse with a freshly baked apple treat as well as a gift basket of Umbrian specialties. We have rosemary growing like weeds around our property, so I decided to incorporate this into my cake as well since it is an amazingly fragrant herb, and is in fact one of my favorites. The cake itself is a very basic cake recipe, but the addition of apples that have been sauteed until lightly golden brown before they are added to the cake batter really adds a lot of flavor.
Once baked, while the cake was still warm, I poked the top with a skewer to make tiny holes, and then spooned on a delicious warm syrup made with my fresh rosemary, sugar and water. The result was a delicious, moist cake that I will certainly add to my file of favorites to make over and over again. You do not really taste the rosemary, but it does add another dimension of flavor that I think makes the cake a little more special than the usual garden variety apple cake. Even with the addition of the syrup, the cake really is not overly sweet and so it would work well as either a dessert, or breakfast cake. I used a variety of Italian apples I found at our local market, but any great tasting apple such as Granny Smith would work well.
Our Amazing Rosemary Bush That Wraps Around The Corner Of The House
Deborah Mele 2011
For The Apples:
- 2 Medium Large Apples, Peeled And Chopped Into 1/2 Inch Pieces
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
For The Cake:
- 1 Cup Butter Softened
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
For The Rosemary Syrup:
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- In a heavy frying pan, heat the butter until bubbly and then add the apples, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Continue to cook until the apples are soft and just beginning to brown, then set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease and flour an 8 inch spring-form pan.
- In a medium bowl beat together the butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and then fold this into the egg mixture until just blended.
- Fold in the apple mixture, and then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer stuck into the center comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, combine the sugar, rosemary, and 3/4 cup of water into a small pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit for an additional 15 minutes.
- Strain the syrup, discarding the rosemary.
- Using a small skewer or toothpick, poke holes into the top of the still warm cake about 1 inch apart.
- Carefully spoon half the syrup over the cake allowing it to become absorbed into the cake.
- Wait 15 minutes and repeat.
- Allow the cake to cool and remove from the tin and serve.