The microwaved apples should be pliable but not completely soft when cooked. To test for doneness, take one apple slice and try to bend it. If it snaps in half, it’s too firm; microwave it for an additional 30 seconds and test again. If Calvados is unavailable, 1 tablespoon of apple brandy or white rum can be substituted. I have not made this yet, but with the too oily review, I went on line and looked at others who have made this and what they said. Some of them have also had this same problem, but note some had also changed to 2% milk. This might have also affected the batter. Other say they did not have this problem. One advised this might been because he had gotten the oil to emulsified into the batter using an immersion blender. They bakers with the too oily cakes advised they will cut down the oil to 1/2 cup add 1/2 cup apple sauce if they make again. Note this is more cutard like then a normal American cake texture.