1/2 cup whole milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing pan
5 Golden Delicious apples
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan or round cake pan and wrap bottom in foil so it doesn't leak.

Measure the milk into a microwavable measuring cup. Cut the butter into pieces and add to milk. Microwave for a minute or two, until butter is just melted. Set aside to cool.

Peel, core and quarter the apples. Slice apple quarters into thin slices, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. This can be done by hand or with a food processor.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with a wire whisk until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the flour, then add milk-butter mixture and the vanilla. Blend thoroughly. Quickly stir in the baking powder, then fold in sliced apples.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and place pan directly on gas-oven floor for 10 minutes. Transfer pan to center rack and bake until cake is well-browned on top and a knife inserted into center comes out clean, about an hour longer. (If you have an electric oven, place pan on lowest rack for entire cooking time.)

Remove cake to a cooling rack. When cool enough to handle, run a thin knife around cake and remove springform ring. Serve warm. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

— Recipe adapted by McClatchy New Service from "Four Seasons of Italian Cooking," by A.J. Battifarano.