This scrumptious Passover-friendly Apple Cake is adapted from a recipe by culinary icon Arthur Schwartz, known as The Food Maven. For more than 18 years Arthur was the restaurant critic and food editor of the NY Daily News, has made numerous TV appearances and has written 6 cookbooks! This recipe is adapted from one of his bestselling cookbooks, "Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking".
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 3 large eggs
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup matzo cake meal
• 5 medium apples (peeled, cored, halved and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices)
• 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
• Grated rind from 1 lemon - about 1-2 teaspoons
Place rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350ºF. Lightly spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with non-stick vegetable spray or coat lightly with oil. Set aside.
Topping: Place the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix together. Set aside.
Cake: Beat eggs with electric mixer on medium-high until they're well mixed. Slowly, Add sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time and beat until the mixture is thick and foamy. In a steady stream, beat in the oil. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Use the spatula to stir in the cake meal and make sure that the mixture is well combined. Mix in lemon rind. Pour about half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the topping evenly over the batter. Top with half the apple slices and all of the raisins (if using). Pour the remaining batter over the top and spread it out to cover the apples. Place the rest of the apples on top and sprinkle the remaining topping evenly over it all.
Bake for about 1 hour+, until the topping is caramelized and the cake seems like it's pulling away from the sides of the dish a bit. Cool completely. If you try to cut it too soon, it'll fall apart.
When cool, cut into slices and serve.
If made the day before, keep tightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature. It actually improves with age! Enjoy!