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Browned Butter Apple Cake
If you've never made browned butter before, here are a few tips. You will actually be cooking the butter in a saucepan until it turns golden brown. Use a silver bottomed pan so you can assess the browning of the butter. First the butter will melt, then it will crackle and pop — swirl the pan gently when this happens. Once the crackling subsides, keep a close eye on the butter so that it doesn't burn. The butter is done when the liquid portion turns a rich chestnut color, and the dark brown flecks of the butter solids sink to the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned butter into a bowl, and let cool before using.
Browned butter makes everything taste better. If you don't believe me, check out my recipe for Browned Butter Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 3 large tart apples (Elliot, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jazz, and Jonagold all work well), peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4" thick
- freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup spelt, hazelnut, or almond flour (meal)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw), for sprinkling on top, or plain white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Butter and flour a 9-10 inch deep-dish glass or ceramic pie plate.
- In a medium silver-bottomed skillet, melt the butter and cook over low/medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until it turns chestnut brown. Watch carefully to avoid burning. (See hints above for browning butter.)
- Pour the butter into a large mixing bowl. Let cool slightly.
- In another bowl, toss the apple slices with the cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar and set aside.
- Mix the flours and the salt in a small bowl with a whisk.
- Stir the rest of the sugar into the browned butter. Gently stir in the eggs, making sure the mixture is not hot enough to cook the eggs. (I've done that.) Add the flour mixture just until blended.
- Spread the apples evenly over the bottom of the pie plate. Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Sprinkle the top with Turbinado sugar. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes or until the surface is golden and crusty. Cool on a wire rack and cut into wedges, just like a pie.