Inspired by the popularity of my drunken Passover grilled cheese recipe, I decided to figure out what other ways I could combine cheese, cheap wine and carbs for Passover (like I need an excuse to eat cheese, carbs and cheap wine.)
And then this happened; a delicious, traditional apple cake slathered with ooey-gooey, Manischewitz-spiked apple pie filling, topped-off with melted cheddar.
*While this recipe is a bit more advanced than the grilled cheese, it's definitely worth taking the time to make it. The topping can be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated on the stove before pouring it on the cake. The cake can be made one day ahead if stored in an airtight container on the counter after it's cooled.
3 large eggs separated, plus 3 large yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspon kosher salt
3 cups grated tart apples (like granny smith)
1 cup matzo meal
2 teaspons lemon zest
1 tablespoon brandy
Apple and wine topping (recipe below)
1/4 cup shredded kosher for Passover cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly coat bottom and edges of an 8-inch springform (cake) pan with nonstick spray.
3. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer if you have one, beat 6 egg yolks, sugar and salt until thickened, about 3 minutes. With a spatula, fold in apples, matzo meal, lemon zest and brandy.
4. In another medium bowl, beat 3 egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 4 or 5 minutes. It takes a bit of patience to get through this step.
5. With the spatula, gently fold egg whites into apple mixture and then pour batter into the pan.
6. Bake until golden brown and set in center, 45 to 50 minutes. You can test this by sticking a toothpick or knife into the center of the cake. If it comes out without goo on it, then it's cooked.
7. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Seriously. It has to be TOTALLY cooled-off or else it will crumble into apple-cake debris (which, while still delicious, is no longer apple cake.)
8. To remove the cake from the pan, run a small knife around edge of pan, and place the cake on a large plate.
9. Spoon hot apple and wine topping over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
10. When the cheese is sufficiently melted, dive in with a spoon, fork, spork or your hands (if you're in a judgment-free zone.)
For apple and wine topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted margerine
2 cups thinly sliced apples
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons Concord Manischewitz (you can use the Blackberry if you must...*sigh*)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 tablespoon lemon juice (this is really important--it keeps it from being too sweet)
1. Heat the margarine in a sauce pan over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
2. Add the fruit and sautee until softened, somewhere around 4-5 minutes.
3. Stir in everything else and bring to a low simmer. Continue simmering on low (and stirring continuously) until apple filling starts to thicken*--this should only take a couple minutes. (*Fun fact! The pectin in the apples acts as a natural thickening agent.)
4. Remove from heat and let the topping cool to the point of being edible. It should be very warm, but not mouth-burning hot.
5. Spoon topping over cake and then sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. As soon as it's melted, serve.
6. Eat, then vow never to eat again because, sweet baby brisket! you are stuffed.
And because the only thing better than delicious food is a photo of a cute animal, here's a running basset hound:
Photo credit: shutterstock.com