Monday, November 30, 2009

Apple Upside-Down Cake

Not to go all 50's housewife here but every woman should have a few staple recipes that she can make quickly and are guaranteed crowd pleasers. Oddly, the recipes that I personally have that fit that description have not made it onto this blog. Note to self, make and post staple recipes that never let me down. That said, this apple cake is mind-numbingly simple and would appeal to a broad audience which fits the above-mentioned criteria. It is not very sweet but fresh and simple which has broad appeal. To make it something that would appeal to the masses, I would recommend adding vanilla ice cream and putting some warm caramel sauce on the table as an option in case someone wants something a little sweeter. Another note to self, post killer caramel sauce recipe soon! Until the caramel post comes along, go ahead and get the store bought stuff in the jar while I get off my derrière and get moving on that. Enjoy!

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, September and October 2009


4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces plus extra for the pan
2 Granny Smith and 2 Fuji apples peeled and sliced thin lengthwise
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
Pinch salt


1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spray baking PAM onto bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan or skillet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add half of the apples and cook stirring occasionally until apples start to caramelize. Add remaining apples, brown sugar and lemon juice and salt and cook about 1 minute longer until sugar dissolves. Transfer apples into prepared pan and press into the bottom or keep the apples in the skillet and set aside while preparing cake.


Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt and stir together with a fork. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs in a bowl until thick, about 45 seconds. Add in sour cream or crème fraiche, lemon zest and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until combined. Pour batter into pan or skillet over apples and spread evenly. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.

Cool on wire rack 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around perimeter of cake and invert onto a large plate and lift pan off of the cake. Place any loose apples on top of the cake and allow to cool another 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

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