Utah-born, Norway-raised Nevada Berg's website, North Wild Kitchen, won Saveur's top food blog prize this year, earning kudos for the way its imagery and recipes evoke an idealized idea of humble Scandinavian living. This apple cake recipe, featuring a sponge base topped with caramelized fruit and toasted almonds, appeared earlier this fall along with an explanation of the importance of apples to Nordic cooking, from the Stone Age to modern day.
1¼ cup sugar
²/³ cup butter, at room temperature
1¾ cup flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup milk
3 to 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
For the topping
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¹/³ cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
A couple dabs of butter (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan.
In a bowl, blend together the flour and the baking powder.
In a large bowl or kitchen mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and blend together. Slowly add in the milk until everything is well blended.
Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan. Top the mixture with the apple slices, laying them tightly next to each other and pressing them into the batter slightly as you go along. After you have covered the batter with the apples, sprinkle them with the brown sugar, sliced almonds and cinnamon. For a little indulgence, take just a couple small dabs of butter and place them around the cake, so they will melt into the cake as it bakes.
Place in the oven and bake for around 1 hour. The top should be golden brown and you can check the cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for a truly luxurious dessert.