We first met Emily Luchetti last fall when she was handing out her own gourmet ice cream sandwiches deliciously flavored with cardamom. The professional pastry chef was among those serving exquisite dishes for a stand-up luncheon at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley.
We were so impressed by Luchetti’s ice cream sandwiches we asked if she had any desserts featuring extra virgin olive oil. She kindly agreed to share one with us: an apple cake made using EVOO.
Luchetti, by the way, is the executive pastry chef for Waterbar and Farallon restaurants in San Francisco. She has four cookbooks to her credit and numerous awards, including a 2004 James Beard Award for best pastry chef of the year.
The apple olive oil cake recipe she gave us is easy to make. “The olive oil adds a softness and fruitiness to the cake,” she told us.
The cake also uses apple butter to deliver the apple flavor. Apple butter, which is available in supermarkets, is a highly concentrated form of applesauce. Its deep brown color comes from the slow cooking of apples with cider or water. The sugar in the apples eventually caramelizes.
Luchetti suggests serving the cake with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. My own preference – and I’m guessing Luchetti would approve: a scoop of olive oil ice cream alongside the cake.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch