I have so many apples at the moment that when I saw this recipe for Italian Apple cake by Skye McAlpine of From My Dining Table, I had to try it and it was a huge success – I actually served it as a pudding, warm with some mascarpone and then later cold for tea!!
Italian Apple Cake with Mascarpone and Amaretti
For the cake:
⅔ cup brown sugar (I use muscovado sugar)
8.8 oz mascarpone cheese
1¾ cup self raising flour
½ tsp salt
3 medium apples
2.8 oz amaretti biscuits
For the decoration (optional):
1 tbsp apricot jam
2 tbsp water
A few amaretti biscuits
1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
How to prepare
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Lightly grease a cake tin and line with parchment paper. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until they become pale and fluffy—you want them to be a light, lemon-y color. Slowly pour in the sugar. Keep beating with a whisk until the mixture is dark and smooth, like molasses. Next, spoon in the mascarpone and use a wooden spoon to mix it in nicely so that you have a lovely smooth, light-colored batter.
Sift the flour and the salt and stir with the wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients are well combined. Now, set the mixing bowl to one side while you roughly slice the apples. Try to keep the slices as thin as you can. (You can peel them if you prefer, but I find that the skin gives a nice texture to the cake.) Spoon the apple slices into the bowl with the dry ingredients, then gently fold them into the batter.
Pour half the mixture into the tin and use the back of the wooden spoon to smooth it over, so that it’s evenly spread across the bottom of the tin. Take the amaretto biscuits and roughly crumble them over the tin, then pour the rest of the batter over and spread it out.
You can bake the cake just like that, but I sometimes like to top it with a few apple slices, mostly for decoration. Core and quarter an apple, then thinly slice the quarters to get thin apple wedges, gently press them on top of the cake in whatever pattern you like—I fan them around the outer edge of the cake in a big circle. Warm the apricot jam and a little water in a small saucepan for a few minutes, until the jam becomes like syrup—then lightly glaze the apple slices with the jam.
Put the tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until it’s golden brown on top and when you insert a knife, the blade comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool a little in its tin, then turn it out on to a plate. Crumble a few amaretti biscuits over the cake and sprinkle with a little icing sugar before eating.