This started out as a humble apple cake. At first, my only goal was to make this cake gluten-free, but then I kept on making it. Each time, I made just slight modifications and before I knew it the cake had more apples, more lemon zest and more vanilla. The cake itself has less sugar than the original, but four times the amount of sweet meringue!This is no longer a humble apple cake. This cake is fluffy and it demands attention. This is the Persian cat of apple cakes. I made the best and final version for a tea party with three of my best girlfriends. Claudia (bottom right photo) dubbed it Goddess Apple Cake. I think that Claudia’s name has a wider appeal that Persian Cat Apple Cake (wildly up to misinterpretation) so Goddess Apple Cake it is.
Make this cake when you plan to have enough company to finish eating all of it within a day or two, tops. Goddess apple cake does not like to be left to languish without attention….do you see how it could have just as easily been called Persian Cat Apple Cake?GODDESS APPLE CAKE WITH MERINGUE TOPPING (GLUTEN-FREE)
deeply adapted from the excellent cookbook The Italian Country Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
- 1 cup rice flour (brown or white or a combination of the two) plus an extra 3 Tablespoons extra
- 1/4 cup mochi flour (also known as sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour)
- 1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 and 1/4 cup plus an additional 1/2 cup sugar
- generous pinch of salt
- 1 and 1/2 sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
- the grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 3 or 4 tart, firm apples, peeled cored and cut in to 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 large egg whites (1/2 cup)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 8 inch springform pan (I use rice flour).
- Whisk all the flours and starches, 1 cup sugar, generous pinch of salt together in a large bowl. Add 12 tablespoons of butter and use your fingers to rub the ingredients together until they are crumbly. Measure 1 and 1/4 cup of the crumbles into the prepared springform pan. Press the crumbles into the bottom of the pan and about 1/4 inch up the sides to form a crust about 1/8 inch thick.
- Make a well in the remaining crumbles, Add the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons brown rice flour and baking powder. Use a whisk to combine the liquid ingredients without combining the crumbs. The use a wooden spoon to blend the crumbs and liquid until it is combined but still lumpy. Fold in the apples and pour the batter into the pan
- In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and then beat until the whites form soft peaks. Spread the meringue over the top of the cake.
- Bake 65 to 75 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before unmolding the cake.
MORE FRUIT-CAKE FOR YOU….