Requires: 24cm round cake pan, electric mixer (or hand beater)
Preheat oven to 180°C conventional oven (350° Fahrenheit/Gas 4). Grease a 24cm round cake pan by lightly buttering the base and sides with margarine or butter. Line the base with baking paper, then lightly butter over the baking paper. Add a heaped tablespoon of 00 flour, then turn and shake the tin to coat the butter in flour on the base and sides of the cake pan.
Place the lemon juice in a small bowl. Halve, core and peel the apples. With the cut-side down, thinly slice the apples and toss in the bowl with lemon juice. This is to prevent discolouration of the apples. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer or hand beater, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. With the mixer (or hand beater) running, add the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. You want to see air bubbles rise to the surface of the cake mixture before adding additional tablespoons of flour. Drain the apples, reserving the lemon juice. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Then stir in the margarine (butter) until well combined. Stir the sifted baking powder into the cake mixture.
Note: 00 is a powder-fine Italian type of flour. It is made from soft wheat varieties, and is frequently used in Italian desserts and pastas. 00 flour is available in most supermarkets, Italian food stores and gourmet delicatessens.
Place the icing sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake pan. Arrange the apples in a circular pattern, pressing each apple into the cake mixture slightly. Start from the outside of the cake pan and work inward. Sift the icing sugar and cinnamon over the apples.
Bake for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving – buon appetito.