This dessert is simple, and very easy to make. Essentially, it is apples sunk into a batter-based cake.
It is great with coffee for breakfast, but on a doily, dusted with powdered sugar, it holds its own as a fancy dessert. Served with some espresso or cognac, it is sure to please.
Sunken Apple Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 1/2 lbs. Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp. extra for apples
Lemon juice or cognac, 1 tbsp.
2 oz. butter at room temperature
1 tsp. baking powder
Powdered sugar for dusting
Butter and flour a 9" cake pan.
Peel apples. Quarter and score them (use a small, sharp knife and make 3-4 deep longitudinal cuts into each piece of apple, without actually cutting it into more pieces).
Sprinkle with sugar (2 tbsp. or so for this amount of apples) and squeeze fresh lemon juice or cognac over the apples. Toss to coat. This is to keep the apples from discoloring while you make the batter. Obviously which you choose will affect the taste of the cake.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour and baking soda and beat to make a smooth batter.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Sink the apple quarters into the batter, distributing evenly throughout. The apples will be sticking out of the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Increase temperature to 375 degrees until cake is brown on top and a toothpick stuck into batter comes out clean (about 25-30 minutes).
Allow cake to cool. Dust top with powdered sugar.