Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
From pastry chef Stephanie Prida of Balsan in Chicago. She tops it here with glazed apples; but it's a wonderful foil for everything from vanilla ice cream to poached pears. Whatever pairing you choose for this cake, use a mellow, fruity extra-virgin olive oil for baking and save the more peppery oils for the main course.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
- 1 1⁄2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 2⁄3 cup whole milk
- 1⁄3 cup brandy
- 1⁄3 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1 medium orange)
- glazed apple (recipe follows)
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 4 cups, Honeycrisp apples are best)
- 1⁄2 cup apple cider
- 1⁄2 cup calvados
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until combined; add the lemon zest, olive oil, milk, brandy and orange juice and whisk again until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake the cake, turning halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let the cake cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the loaf and invert it onto the rack and let cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the apples: In a medium skillet, cook the sugar and water over medium heat, swirling the pan (do not stir the sugar and water with a spoon), until dark amber, about 8 minutes. Fold the apples into the caramelized sugar. Add the cider and Calvados and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender and translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Cut the loaf into 8 slices and divide among 8 plates. Garnish with the glazed apples and walnuts and serve immediately.