Finland: Omenakakku (Finnish Apple Cake)

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How cute is the Finnish language? I love all the k's that get used, and I just love that "Cake" is "Kakku." Adorable.

This recipe is from the "Sundays at Moosewood" cookbook (the one that separates recipes by region, and sometimes country). I was unenthused about all recipes the day I decided to make this (which is the way of things when I make a dessert instead of a main course for a challenge). I was extremely wary of the recipe because while it is called a 'cake,' it does not have any flour or other 'cakey' ingredients. While the blurb about the recipe says it's "Half cake, half way to custard," I was still suspicious of how it would be half cake. I really thought the authors mistakenly left out the flour. I even scoured the internet for another recipe--and upon only finding one other recipe (!) for Omenakkku, which used flour, I was even more convinced that this recipe was wrong. Nonetheless, upon Greg's urging, I followed the recipe in the book.

And I am so glad that I did.

This is a phenomenal dessert. The area surrounding the apples is velvety and very nearly like a custard. The 'cake' portion has a complex flavor, both buttery and nutty, and is simultaneously dense and light. Greg was in love with this dessert. It is something I plan on making over and over again.

Omenakakku (from the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook)
-2 1/2 cups cold water
-Juice of 1/2 a lemon
-4 tart, firm baking apples (such as Greening or Granny Smith)
-3 eggs
-Pinch of salt
-1/2 cup butter at room temperature
-2/3 cups sugar
-2/3 cups ground almonds

1. Put water and lemon juice in a large, non-reactive sauce pan. Halve, core, and peel the apples, dropping each into the pan of water to prevent discoloration as you work on the others. Add enough water to mostly cover the apples. Cover the pan and bring to a boil quickly. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 3-5 minutes until just barely tender. Drain the pan and remove the apples.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 10" pie plate (**NOTE: I used a 10" springform pan, which worked great for easily removing the slices of cake).

3. Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Place egg whites in a cold metal bowl with a pinch of salt. Whip until stiff peaks form.

4. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in egg yolks and ground almonds. Mix in a spoonful of egg whites into the creamed mixture to lighten. Then, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites using a rubber spatula.

5. Place apple halves flat side down in pie plate. Pour almond mixture into the pan, over the apples, taking care to smooth between the apples (domes of apples will peek through).

6. Bake 35-40 minutes until golden-brown. Serve at room temperature.

Servings: 8
Calories: Unknown, but given the ingredients, I'm gonna go ahead and deem this a "splurge" item.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather-- I am Dylan's mom and I found out about your blog from Greg's postings on fb. I wanted to tell you that we have a Moroccan cookie recipe that is made with just eggs, sugar and ground almonds-- the ground almonds obvioulsy take the place of flour-- although consistency is not really the same. (and they are GOOD) So I found this recipe very interesting! not sure if we'll make it-- we are watching those calories very carefully. But we have enjoyed reading your recipes and I have copied several of them-- hope to try them some day!

Heather said...

Hi, Dylan's Mom! I'm happy you're enjoying the blog. I'm sorry that I haven't been posting much healthy food as of late....apparently there's not much healthy food across the globe. ;)

I think the Omenakakku would make a perfect dessert for guests sometime, if you do decide to try it.

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