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Cooking

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Gateau de Hannouka

Serves: Yields 8–10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pan
  • 5 apples (3 Fuji and 2 Granny Smith, or any combination of sweet and tart apples), peeled, cored and cut into ½" pieces (about 6 cups)
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 1¼ cups and 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract


Danielle Fleischmann bakes this apple cake in the same beat-up, rectangular pan that her mother used. Known as a “Jewish Apple Cake” because oil is substituted for butter, it is called Gâteau de Hannouka in France.

When Danielle makes the cake, she uses very little batter, and half sweet and half tart apples, a combination that makes a really tasty version of this simple Polish cake. Although her mother grated the apples, Danielle cuts them into small chunks. I often make it in a Bundt pan and serve it sprinkled with sugar.

Procedures:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a Bundt pan or a 9" x 13" baking pan.

    Toss the apples in a large bowl with the zest and juice of the lemon, walnuts and cinnamon.

    Pulse together the flour, baking powder, salt, almonds and 1¼ cups of sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

    With the food processor running, add the eggs, oil and almond extract, processing until just mixed.

    Spoon ⅓ of the batter over the bottom of the pan.

    Scatter the apples on top, and cover the apples with the remaining batter.

    Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar (you’ll need less if using a Bundt pan).

    Bake for 45–60 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. The cake will take a shorter time to bake in the shallow rectangular pan than in the Bundt pan.

Joan Nathan

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