Today’s paean to the garden apple is the predictably amazing Blueberry and Apple Kuchen from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook.
Preheat the oven to 175degC. Butter a 9-inch round cake tin. In a bowl cream 6 tablespoons (3oz) unsalted butter (at room temperature) with 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy (I’m giving the measurements in the American cup sizes as they appear in the book). Beat in a large egg.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cups of plain flour, 2tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup milk alternately to the butter mixture. Do not overbeat: mix just until the ingredients are combined.
Peel and core about 6 small-medium apples. Slice them into 1/4 inch wedges. (I parboiled them very briefly with a sprinkle of sugar and a tbsp water just to take the tart edge off them).
Spoon the batter into the tin. Press the apple slices into the batter, working in a circular motion. Arrange the blueberries in a ring inside the apples, and sprinkle the remainder around the edges. Sprinkle the kuchen with cinnamon sugar (1 tbsp sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon).
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set on a wire rack to cool briefly. I served it warm with whipped cream, although the recipe suggests making hot cream sauce to accompany the cake. As an alternative to blueberries, the recipe recommends using cranberries.