29 October 2009

Fall Apple Cake

Two boxes of apples from my dad's yard in New Jersey + friends coming over for dessert = fall apple cake. It's suddenly turned into fall in DC, so a warm apple cake seemed like the perfect weeknight treat. I based this off an old recipe that I love, but couldn't find, in the 30 minutes I had to get a cake in the oven before M&S arrived. It makes a buttery cake base that holds lots of tart apples and has a caramel topping that takes it a step beyond your typical apple cake. All it takes is about 30 minutes of prep work (even less if you have an apple peeler/corer, which I don't).

The first thing to do is find a cast iron skillet (or other stove to oven pan) and then estimate how many apples you would need to fill up the skillet with apple quarters. This depends completely on the size of your apples- with the little ones from my dad's yard, I probably used 10. If you have monster grocery store apples, you will probably need less, though you could cut them into eights and probably should, as you don't want the apple pieces to stick out above the edge of your pan.

Once you've figured out the apple situation, it's time to peel and core. I don't take the whole peel off the apple because 1) I'm lazy and 2) might as well keep some of the vitamins in. I peel in a spiral pattern, leaving a few stripes on. I wouldn't recommend skipping the peeling step completely, as the apple skins don't soften like the rest of the fruit during baking and fighting to cut an apple peel with a fork does not make for an enjoyable dining experience.

When you've finished the apples, pop the sugar and butter in the skillet over medium low heat and let melt. Don't stir but pick up the pan (oven mitt, please) and tilt it around to combine the ingredients. Let cook to a medium amber color and remove from the heat. It can be a little hard on your first few attempts to discern the color of the caramel from black skillet, but watch for the color on the foamy parts. Arrange the apples in rings around the pan, then make your cake batter and pour over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350F, turn the cake over onto a plate and serve warm.

Fall Apple Cake
Serves 8-10

Apple topping:
1/2C (100g) sugar
2 T. (30g) butter
apples (read above to figure out how many you need)
lemon juice

1 recipe, yellow or white cake (coming soon)

(If you are really pressed for time you could use a box mix although it only take a few minutes to put together this recipe)

- Preheat oven to 350F/180C

- Peel, core and cut apples in fourths or eights depending on the size. Toss with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.

- Heat the butter and sugar in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Don't stir but pick up the pan (oven mitt, please) and tilt it around to combine the ingredients. Let cook to a medium amber color and remove from the heat.

- Arrange the apple pieces in rings in the skillet. Pour the cake batter evenly over the top of the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and golden and a tester inserted in the cake come out clean.


Sue said...

That looks sooo good. Plus apples are about the only fruit anyone can afford right now!

kat said...

so good for a cool fall day!

Goldie said...

Oooh, this sounds so good! It is indeed apple season, too. I just made a fabulous apple crisp. Whatcha gonna do with the rest of those apples?

Matt said...

I can personally attest to the awesomeness of this cake.


Hannah said...

Okay, so you've convinced me that I'm seriously overdue for making another apple dessert. That looks incredible!

Katerina said...

Cake in a skillet, that is something I have never done. Hard core. And so beautiful and rustic looking.