Source: Adapted from The New York Times 2004
- 1 stick butter, plus more for greasing
- panparchment paper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 Fuji apples
- ½ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt such as fleur de sel (or 1/2 tsp. kosher salt)
- ½ cup milk at room temperature
- powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease a nine-inch-circle pan with butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place inside pan. Grease sides of pan and parchment round with butter.
- Melt butter in small saucepan. Set aside. Beat together eggs and half of sugar in a bowl. Continue to beat while slowly adding remaining sugar until thick — it should form a ribbon when dropped from spoon.
- Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds into the egg-sugar mixture and add pod to melted butter.
- Peel apples and cut straight down around the core into four big chunks. Discard the core then slice the apple pieces thinly.
- Remove vanilla pod from butter and discard. Stir butter into sugar-egg mixture. Combine flour, salt and baking powder, then stir into batter alternating with the milk. Stir in apples, coating every piece with batter. Pour batter into pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then rotate the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, but not for much longer, or until cake pulls away slightly from the pan and is brown on top. Cool for at least 30 minutes, then cut into wedges sprinkling each with powdered sugar if desired.