Clare de Boer's Apple and Calvados Cake

Apple and Calvados Cake

Apple and Calvados Cake
Cookware used in this recipe

I've done a lot of camping. I've done a lot of cooking in kitchens with absolutely no equipment. I've catered in Airbnbs. I've cooked in my own apartment in Brooklyn, which has practically nothing in it. I'm very flexible in respect to what I can cook in, even if a kitchen doesn't have good bakeware. And sometimes you're lucky if you get a good frying pan.

But I think the thing to remember is that you can bake in anything. Small Fry is actually a great pan to bake in because it's got excellent heat conduction and a nonstick surface. And because the handle looks elegant, it's proper to put it out on a table and serve directly from it. It has a very similar effect to cast iron when you fill it with fruit and a crumble topping, along with ice cream on top, and drop it on the table.

This is a comforting cake that is incredibly easy to make; the batter can be made in advance and allowed to rest. I slip it in the oven as everyone sits down for the main course, and I serve it warm. It’s a light, fluffy French-style apple cake with a twist. I don't think there's anything that could fill friends with joy as much as a warm apple dessert in the middle of winter. It's what everybody fancies.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Slice the apples (I leave the skins on) and toss with a splash of Calvados and a pinch of sugar; set aside.

4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale in color and doubled in volume, then stir in the Calvados and brown butter.

5. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

6. Butter the Small Fry and pour in the batter. Lay the apple slices on top.

7. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown.

8. Sprinkle with sugar and serve with custard.

Photos by Noah Fecks

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