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Italian Apple Cake II

(Makes one 8-inch cake)
Italian Apple Cake
Italian Apple Cake

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/3 cup whole milk
1-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 medium apples
2 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 medium apples
Confectioners' sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter an 8 or 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

Melt 7 tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup.
Add the milk to the butter and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon;
set aside.

Peel, core and cut the apples into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices
in a bowl and add the lemon juice.  Toss the apples gently with the lemon
juice to avoid discoloration; set aside.

Put the eggs and 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl.  Using a whisk or electric
mixer, beat the mixture until pale yellow and creamy.  Add the grated lemon
zest and vanilla; stir to combine.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the
egg/sugar mixture.  When the flour is well incorporated, add the butter/milk
mixture and stir until a smooth, thick batter forms.

Add half of the apple slices to the cake batter and stir gently to combine.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Smooth the batter so that it is even and
the top is level.  Arrange the remaining apple slices in a circular pattern, and
slightly overlapping on top of the batter.  Sprinkle the apple slices with the
remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.  Cut the remaining tablespoon of
butter into tiny cubes and distribute them over the apple slices.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan
and the surface is golden brown.  The cake is done when a toothpick inserted
in the center comes out slightly moist.  Remove the cake from the oven and
cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove the sides of the springform pan
and allow the cake to cool completely before transferring it to a cake plate. 
Dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar and serve.
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