APPLES! I had a lot, and between the free ones I eat at work and the 5lb bag I bought for home, I was up to my ears in apples. I've been enjoying them with peanut butter at work everyday, but there's so many apples a girl can eat before I get sick of them. Then came this recipe. I saw this upside down apple cake and thought it looked delightful.
I trust King Arthur and their recipes, even if they have recipes that require their specialized products. One of the ingredients this recipe called for was a few tablespoons of boiled cider. I haven't tried it, and I'm sure it's great. HOWEVER, since I will probably never use it other than the few tablespoons for this recipe, I decided to sub apple cider. I think it worked out fine. If you need an apple cake, this one turns out moist and dense, what a perfect fall cake should be.
One note is that a 2" high pan needs to be used. I didn't have one and used a leakproof springform pan. That was probably why some of the brown bits on the bottom stuck to the pan. It may also be because I forgot the grease the pan. Please don't make that mistake if you're using a regular pan.
Apple Upside-Down Cake
adapted from King Arthur Flour
2 medium apples (or 3 small apples), peeled, cored, and sliced (reserve one apple top)
4 TBSP butter (I used Earth balance)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 TBSP apple cider
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 TBSP apple cider
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped (or 2 small)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan at least 2" deep. Line the bottom with parchment, and grease the parchment.
Slice the top, including the stem, off one of the apples and set it aside before peeling and slicing the rest of the apples into 1/4" thick wedges. (an apple peeler corer was very helpful here!)
Place the apple top, stem side down, in the middle of the pan, and overlap the rest of the apple wedges in a ring around it.
Prepare the topping by heating the butter, sugar, apple cider, cinnamon, and corn syrup together over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour 1/2 cup of the syrup mixture into the prepared pan, and set the rest aside.
make the cake:
Beat the oil, brown sugar, apple cider, eggs, spices, and salt together for 2 minutes at medium speed
Mix the flour with the baking soda, and stir it into the batter.
Add the chopped apple and nuts, and mix until just blended.
Drop scoops of the batter atop the apples in the pan, gently spreading to cover.
Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and run a thin spatula around the edge to loosen. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a serving plate, bottom side up. Scrape out any sauce that remains in the pan, and spread it over the cake.
Reheat the reserved topping. If butter starts to separate as you reheat, add water by the teaspoon and stir until the butter rejoins the rest of the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the cake. Serve cake warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.