Compressed Apple Cake is a lovely multilayer cake made of layered apple slices sweetened with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg compressed on a bed of walnuts and cornflakes.
Compressed Apple Cake is a reversed apple cake, cooked slowly for 2 hours; the released pectin from the apples will jellify the whole cake to make it hold perfectly. The result is a fantastic mouthful of apples with a thin crust of walnut, sugar-free whole-grain cornflakes (or graham) with a touch of flour, butter and brown sugar. This thin base gives the dessert a crunch, but this dish’s magic finds itself in its bold apple flavour and fun light texture.
I usually try to avoid flaky pastries knowing it’s filled with butter, so this base is a great solution; plus, walnuts and apples are just a perfect match. It is a sweet cake made with little sugar because apples are already filled, so it is a pretty healthy dessert.
What Kind of Apples?
For this recipe, you’ll need apples that are not breaking too quickly… so no mealy apples. Any type of apple that holds good when cut 1 mm thin is excellent for this recipe. This way, you’ll see the many layers, cut through them with the fork, and feel each piece of apple, which is as satisfying as cracking the caramelized top from a “creme brulee.” Otherwise, with a mealy or floury textured apple, you’ll get a purée and won’t get the same result. I’ve used a well-known “pink lady” apple for this particular recipe, but you choose the one you prefer as long as it’s not too acidic or mealy.
The technique used here is a slow and long cooking process that will compress the apple layers and hold them perfectly together. For the first half of the cooking process, you’ll need to double-wrap the mould containing the apples in aluminum foil to prevent the steam from escaping. This way, you’ll get all the juices (apple, brandy and butter) to merge to perfection with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Also, the pectin from the apple will activate and jellify the cake, making it hold to perfection.
In the second half of the cooking session, we’ll discard the aluminum foil to let all the juices evaporate and concentrate the flavours. By then, the apples had lost about 1/2 of the height they originally were. We’ll finish with the fine walnut base thirty minutes before the end. Once the cooking is done, it’s important not to reverse the cake immediately; it needs to jellify and cool down before, so I suggest waiting an hour before reversing the cake and serving.
Other Dessert Recipes
So let’s make this layered apple cake!
Compressed Apple Cake
- 5 apples
- 25 g butter
- 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ⅓ tsp nutmeg
The Walnut Crust
- 50 g unsweeten Corn Flakes
- 50 g Walnuts
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 25 g flour
- 25 g butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Add baking paper to the bottom of a (rectangular) mould.
- Peel and slice the apples into 1mm thin slices with the help of a mandoline.
- Add a first layer of apple overlapping each other on the bottom, then on the sides and filled up the rest adding overlapping layers of apples
- Once all the apples are in, add the brandy, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg
- Double wrap the mould with aluminium paper
- Cook in the oven at 180°C (350F°) for 1h30.
- Uncover the mold, let the vapor escape and cook another hour (same temperature).
- In a blender or mortar, crunch the corn flakes (or graham) and the walnuts (not too fine), add the rest of the ingredients and the melted butter and mix
- Once the hour is over, add the base on top of the compressed apple slices and cook another 25 minutes
- Take the cake out and let rest a minimum of an hour before flipping on a plate and serving