Apple and Bread Crumb Cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 pounds, Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (the original recipe indicates that you can also use McIntosh)
2-1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used a typical Italian country bread. I sliced off the crust and processed the interior of the bread in the food processor to make the fresh bread crumbs.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons apricot jam
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a loaf pan (8 x 4-inches). Line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper or parchment paper. Butter the paper and set the pan aside.
In a large skillet, melt a 1/4 of the butter. Add the apples and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the apples have softened. This should take between 15 and 20 minutes. Once the apples are cooked transfer them to a bowl.
In the same skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Add the bread crumbs, the sugar and the cinnamon. Combine and cook over medium heat until the bread crumbs have absorbed the butter and turned golden. This should take 5 to 10 minutes.
Once this is done you are now ready to begin assembling the cake.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the bread crumbs in the bottom of the loaf pan and pat them down firmly with a spoon.
Spread 1/2 of the apricot jam over this layer as smoothly as possible.
Place half the apples over the jam, smoothing the apples out and pressing them down firmly. Sprinkle half of the lemon juice over the apples.
Repeat with 1/3 of the bread crumbs. Spread the remaining apricot jam over the bread crumb layer and top with the remaining apples. Press down firmly to ensure that the entire loaf pan is filled and that there are no air pockets. Sprinkle the remaining lemon juice over the apples.
Top with the final 1/3 of the bread crumbs. Press them down as evenly as possible.
Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it is nicely golden and bubbling at the sides.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely. I advise keeping it in the loaf pan for at least eight hours before inverting it onto a plate. I left my cake in the pan for about 12 hours.
When you're ready to remove the cake, run a thin knife all around the sides of the pan. Carefully invert the cake onto a dish. Peel the parchment paper off.
Serve the cake with ice cream or whipped cream.
Pairs Well With
I found this cake when I was doing research about the region of Piemonte in Italy. In 2006, Torino (located in Piemonte) hosted the Olympics and I did a little series on the food of Piemonte on my blog, Cream Puffs in Venice (www.creampuffsinvenice.ca). This is an amazing cake!