Torta di Mele is a simple and rustic Italian dessert that is perfect for the fall because it is filled with in-season apples. It is a bit like an upside-down cobbler, with the dense moist cake on the bottom and topped with buttery, sugary apples on top. This is a delicious cake to finish off a meal while sipping an aperitif, but it is also great as a breakfast treat served with coffee and tea.
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup sugar
4 large apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup whole milk
Powdered sugar for topping
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter, and sprinkle the sides and bottom of the cake pan with 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
2. Peel and core the apples. Chop one of the apples, and toss it in 1 tablespoon of the melted butter, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon.
3. Cut the remaining apples into thin slices, and toss them with the remaining melted butter, another tablespoon of sugar and the rest of the cinnamon.
4. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 2/3 cup of the sugar and the eggs together until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light in color.
5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and lemon zest together. Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir the vanilla into the whole milk.
6. With the mixer still running, alternately add the flour mixture and milk until all is incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
7. Fold the chopped apples into the batter and pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Gently tap the pan to make sure the batter is even.
8. Spread the apple slices all over the top of the batter in a neat pattern, pressing them slightly into the batter.
9. Sprinkle the top of the apples with the remaining sugar. Bake the Torta di Mele for 1 hour or until deep golden and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
10. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and continue cooling completely before slicing.
11. Sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar before serving.
This article was originally published in the October 2021 issue of 225 magazine.