Gluten-Free Apple Skillet Cake with Brown Butter & Hazelnut

8-10 servings
20 min prep time
65 min total time

Apple cake gets an upgrade with vanilla bean browned butter, hazelnut flour, and brown sugar all loaded with tangy baked apples. Serve slices of this beauty with dollops of crème fraîche all season long. If gluten isn't an issue for you, use 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour in place of the sweet rice, oat, and millet flours.

Ingredients

3 large tart baking apples, such as granny smith

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained

9 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter - 82% Butterfat

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract added with the egg

1 1/4 cup hazelnut flour, or almond flour or meal

1/2 cup sweet white rice flour

1/2 cup GF oat flour

1/2 cup millet flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1/3 cup Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, cut in half or sliced almonds

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 cup ground cinnamon

Directions

  • STEP 1

    Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a 10-inch oven-proof skillet, cake pan, or springform pan on the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

  • STEP 2

    Place 8 tablespoons of the butter in a small, heavy saucepan. Add the vanilla bean and scrapings if using. Melt the butter over medium heat. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter turns golden and smells nutty, 3-5 more minutes. Pour the butter into a heatproof bowl to stop the cooking and let cool 5-10 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the butter for drizzling over the apples. When cool, remove the vanilla bean, rinse and let dry. You can reuse the vanilla pod to make vanilla extract or vanilla sugar. 

  • STEP 3

    Peel the apples and cut them off the core in large pieces. Slice two of the apples thinly, keeping the pieces together, and drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Cut the third apple into large dices, place in a small bowl, and toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside.

  • STEP 4

    Sift the hazelnut, sweet rice, oat, and millet flours with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Sift as well as you can - hazelnut flour is hard to sift - then add whatever flour is left in the sifter into the bowl. The goal is to remove any large clumps of hazelnut and oat flour and leavening, which all tend to be clumpy.

  • STEP 5

    In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the 8 tablespoons of the browned butter, then the crème fraîche.

  • STEP 6

    Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until smooth, then fold in the diced apples and any juices.

  • STEP 7

    Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Place the apple slices over the cake, keeping them together, and press them about halfway into the batter. Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts. Drizzle with the reserved 1 tablespoon browned butter.

  • STEP 8

    Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the cake.

  • STEP 9

    Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, 35-40 minutes, rotating the cake towards the end of the baking time. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, 1-2 hours. For the cleanest cuts, chill the cake before the slicing.

  • STEP 10

    Use the parchment to pull the cake out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into slices and serve at room temperature with dollups of crème fraîche. Or serve slices warm with ice cream.

  • STEP 11

    Store leftover cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The Bojon Gourmet

The Bojon Gourmet_Image

The Bojon Gourmet

Alanna Taylor-Tobin is a recovering pastry chef-turned food photographer, videographer, and award-winning cookbook author. For over a decade she has developed and shared gluten-free, vegetarian recipes on her blog The Bojon Gourmet, where she continues to delve into the hypothesis that butter makes everything better.