I’m always on the lookout for a recipe that uses the ingredients I keep on hand. I found this one recently while surfing the Internet. It was posted by one of my favorite bloggers and cooks: Dorie Greenspan.
Dorie posted a pair of very similar recipes from two of her friends. One recipe was called Swedish Apple Cake and the other Swedish Visiting Cake. Visiting Cake? What a strange name. According to Dorie, the name came from the legend that the recipe could be started when you spotted someone coming down your driveway and be ready by the time you sat down for coffee. I guess it depended on the length of your driveway and if the visitor was afoot. But even with my many stops for photos, the cake came together quickly, using ingredients I had on hand.
Dorie’s friend, (let’s call her Friend A), did the apple version. She used baking powder, cooked the batter in a deep-dish pie plate, and topped it with apple wedges. Friend B cooked the Visiting Cake (almond version), using a cast-iron skillet, no leavening, and sliced almonds on top.
Apparently, Dorie liked both cakes. She included the recipe for Swedish Visiting Cake in Baking, From My Home to Yours and it became one of the most popular recipes in her cookbook. Even so, I went with Friend A’s recipe, mainly because I had apples, but too few almonds. But I included the recipe for Visiting Cake at the end of this post.
Swedish Apple Cake
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 extra-large egg or 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 to 1 1/2 apples (any kind), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
- Apple, quince or ginger jelly or preserves, for glazing the cake (optional)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or a similar sized cast-iron skillet.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, if you’re using it, and keep at hand.
- Working in a mixing bowl with the whisk, beat the egg(s) and sugar together until thick and pale. Stir in the vanilla, if you’re using it, and then the melted butter. The mixture will be smooth and shiny.
- Stir in the dry ingredients and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the apples, making a spiral pattern. Leave some space between each slice, so the batter can puff up between the wedges – it looks much nicer with the puffs.
- Slide the pan into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack.
- If you want to glaze the cake, warm a few spoonsful of jelly and a splash of water in a microwave oven (or a saucepan) until the jelly liquefies. Brush the jelly over the hot cake.
- Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes, or wait until it reaches room temperature, before you cut it into wedges to serve.
- Storing: When cooled and covered, the cake will keep overnight at room temperature, but it’s best served shortly after it’s baked.
Kitchen Notes: Next time I make this, I will go with Friend B’s advice and reduce the amount of vanilla a bit. I used a 8″ pan rather than the 9″ and I think it was just right. I didn’t use the glaze. The cake doesn’t need it. But I did top it with Haagan Dazs Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream, which was a perfect paring.
Swedish Visiting Cake
- 1 cup sugar (plus a bit more for sprinkling on top right before baking)
- grated zest of one lemon
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 stick melted butter, cooled
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- In a medium bowl, add the lemon zest to the sugar. Rub the zest and sugar in between your fingers to release the oils, the sugar will start to smell delicious.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
- Whisk in the salt and the extracts.
- Change to a spatula and stir in the flour.
- Fold in the melted and cooled butter.
- Stir until combined. Use 9-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch cake pan. Use a little of the melted butter to grease the pan.
- Pour the batter into the pan and top with the sliced almonds and a sprinkling of sugar.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. It will be golden and the edges will have a nice crust.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then take a knife and run it around the edge of the pan to remove. Or serve from pan.