I was lucky enough this week, so far west of the Mississippi, to snap up some organic Cortland apples in superb condition.  These apples have a deep red color, with flashes of green, and snow white crisp flesh.  They are sweet-tart, and make a good baking apple. I wanted to make an apple cake, mostly because I kept stumbling upon them online here and here.  But I wanted to keep it simple, and make sure the apples were center stage. I did not want to have to use a special pan.  I did not want too much spice, or too much sugar.  Again, the apples. I found some recipes for Italian apple cakes, particularly this one, written charmingly by an Italian student new to…