Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake -French Fridays with Dorie
When I saw that the next recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book was an apple cake, my eyes got really big and I started to smile.
I love apple desserts. I checked the ingredients and found that it was very similar to a recipe I make often that is my mother-in-law’s. The cake was buttery and full of sweet apples. It is void of spices, yet bursting in flavor. Perfect with a cup of caffe’ latte or a nice hot tea. Or a big glass of milk.
Kids approved. The Chef approved. This recipe is a keeper. Merci Dorie.
(This is a fictional story I wrote inspired by these recipes.)
A week had passed so quickly. The same routine was comforting and at times stifling. Chantal was trying to forget about what happened the week before. She just couldn’t stop thinking about Jean-Marc and was confused because of the total lack of communication. Any excuse would have been better than no excuse. But they hardly knew each other and she convinced herself that there shouldn’t have been any expectations. It had been a while since she had opened her heart up to anyone and she believed she could give him at least a chance.
The last customer left the boulangerie. Chantal hung up her apron in the back and heard the door open one more time. She was surprised to see his face. She tried to hide her excitement and was aloof. Jean-Marc could sense that he maybe lost her forever and he held out his hands to her to make contact. She reached out and followed him. Words were not spoken while they were walking in the crisp, cool air. Every thing felt right. That walk. That moment. Chantal was waiting for an explanation, yet didn’t want to tarnish this silence that was unifying them. They turned a corner or two and arrived at an unfamiliar building. Jean-Marc explained that this is where he was last week and he wanted her to meet someone.
They walked up the stairs and the sweet smell of apples filled the narrow staircase. Then she saw her. This adorable face with little glasses. Thick grey hair. A rose patterned apron. She introduced herself as Marie-Helene, Jean-Marc’s grandmother. Jean-Marc stepped away for a moment. Marie-Helene showed Chantal what she baked that afternoon. In the windowsill there was a gorgeous apple cake cooling. Jean-Marc returned with hot tea and some cups and they all took a seat at her tiny kitchen table that was covered with a delicate lace table cloth. Marie-Helene offered Chantal a slice of the apple cake.
Marie-Helene and Jean-Marc shared the same brown eyes and a bond that was palpable. Marie-Helene told Chantal how she hadn’t been feeling well recently. She explained how she wouldn’t be able to manage without the support of Jean-Marc. Jean-Marc was all she had and he meant the world to her. Jean-Marc looked over at Chantal as if to say, “I’m sorry”. Chantal smiled and took another bite of the delicious cake. She sat back with her hot cup of tea and enjoyed Marie-Helene’s stories. It was a memorable night spent with wonderful company.
We aren’t publishing the recipes from Dorie’s Around My French Table. If you would like the recipe, you will have to buy the book. I think you won’t regret it.
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