Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350
degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a
baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put
the springform on it.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until
they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend.
Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is
incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the
flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so
that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula
and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with
batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the
spatula so that it's evenish.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60
minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife
inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away
from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5
Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake
and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform
slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples
stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or
at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of
the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a
long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake
with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack.
Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a
The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with
or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a
spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène's served her cake with cinnamon ice
cream and it was a terrific combination.
The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature
and, according to my husband, gets more comforting with each passing
day. However long you keep the cake, it's best not to cover it — it's
too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic
wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.