Jane Webster's Normandy Apple Cake

Oh hello.

As you know, I would normally be in Paris as I type this post, showing you all the croissants, baguettes & duck confit....... But Covid had other plans.

So here I am, looking at gorgeous French instagram accounts all day, drooling and wishing I was there.

I recently started following Jane Webster, a fabulous Australian woman who lives in a Downton Abbey Chateau in the Normandy region of France.

This ain't no joke, you can't believe someone lives in a house this grande!!

She posted a lovely simply "Normandy Apple Cake" recently, which I knew I had to make. Apples are the staple in Normandy, they are served with everything.....cheese, dessert, cidre, Calvados......

The recipe comes from Jane's 2008 Book At My French Table, which is out of print, so I borrowed the recipe from the good old internet.

Jane uses 250g of butter, which, my friends, is 17 tablespoons translated. That was too scary, so I cut it down to 14 tablespoons, and it was still plenty moist and gorgeous!

I also took the liberty to add in lemon zest and some vanilla, cause hey, it's an apple cake.

It calls for a 28cm cake tin....which is 11". 
A pretty large pan, for a pretty large cake. I actually had an 11" springform pan, so I used that with great success. If you don't have that size cake pan, I suggest you use a rectangle 11" x 9" baking pan (like a Pyrex), that would work, though it just won't be a traditional round cake.

Now for the results: I loved this cake so much. It is so simple and delicious, that I didn't even bother to sprinkle with the usual powdered sugar.

Here is the recipe with my minor tweeks:

4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (I used Gala & Granny)

1 tbsp brown sugar & and a shake of cinnamon

1/2 cup water

250g unsalted butter (I cut it down to 14 tablespoons butter)

1 cup sugar

zest of a lemon

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup whole milk

freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

pouring cream (heavy cream to us), to serve

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and water in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until apples are soft. Drain and let cool.

Using a hand-held mixer, cream butter, sugar, zest & vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one.

Sift in flour and slowly add milk, beating to combine.

Pour batter into well greased 10"-11" cake pan.

Top with cooled stewed apples and sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg. I also sprinkled turbinado sugar over the apples and batter.

Bake cake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh cream.

Serves 8-10

We loved this cake so much. It is rustic and reminds me of fall in France.

Simple is best. 



Anonymous said…
Good Morning

Stacey this cake looks heavenly and I have been waiting for this post!
Cannot wait to try! THanks for sharing

Michele S.
I think anything would taste fabulous surrounded by that house! (Or should I say chateau?)

I Made a French apple cake a few years ago and it was fabulous even without the house. I was thinking I needed to do something similar this season. Your post was inspirational.
Thank you for reminding me about this recipe. I have Jane a Webster’s book - I am also Australian. I often don’t have success with American recipes but yours are fabulous.
Carol said…
This look deliicious and I can't wait to make it. The directions say 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and cinnamon. Does that mean 1 tablespoon of brown sugan and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon?
Stacey Snacks said…
Since the recipe from Jane does not include cinnamon in the ingredients list, just sprinkle a little bit on the apples if you’d like that’s what I did