Friday, 24 October 2014

Upside-Down Apple Cake

I recently wrote about going apple picking in Upstate New York but I didn't really talk about what I DID with the apples. The boyfriend and I had around 16 apples in total - half Golden Delicious and half Mutsu, so I put three of the Mutsu to use, making this Upside-Down Apple Cake.

Prior to apple picking, I stocked up on some fun baking contraptions at the Brooklyn Kitchen and this apple peeler was a must. It peels, slices, cores, AND it peel potatoes! (Very handy for Thanksgiving dishes) I have to say that operating this while I prepped the rest of the ingredients was the highlight of my boyfriend's day (he loves power tools and I love baking, so some serious geeking out ensued).

Step One: Stick the apple on to the coring skewer.

Step two: peel, slice, and core apple at the same time!
If you've never worked with apples before, you will notice that most recipes involving them call for lemon juice. This is necessary because apples, once cut up, turn brown very quickly due to rapid oxidization. Bathing the slices in lemon juice stops that process, so your baked goods will look pretty once done (pineapple juice will also stop the oxidization but risks changing the taste of your recipe).

Once my apples were ready, I cut them into slices (it comes out of the corer as one, long spiral - so cool) and put them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, mixing them by hand to coat each slice.

Lemon juice coated slices

After you have stopped the apple slice oxidization process, turn your attention to the waiting pie pan. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, coat the inside of the pie pan with a thin, even layer of butter (the recipe says 2 tbsp but it only takes 1), and sprinkle with brown sugar (I used a lot of brown sugar - completely covering the butter). Next, arrange the apple slices in the pan, in two, concentric circles. My slices look different that the recipe's that I based this off of because I used a corer but the basic idea is still the same.

 Next, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. Using an electric egg beater (or a very industrious spoon), whisk the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter (should be at room temperature) together with the granulated sugar until fluffy. Then add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing until everything is incorporated, and carefully mix in the flour concoction and milk. *The original recipe recommends that you do this by adding the flour in three parts and the milk in two, starting and finishing with the flour, and it made things a lot easier.

At this point, you are supposed to pour the batter over the prepared apples but I wasn't happy with mine, so I improvised. I added another teaspoon of cinnamon and about 1/4 - 1/3 c milk. The original batter was too thick and bland for my taste, so I spiced it up and thinned it out, which resulted in a denser cake. Turn your oven to 'bake,' place the pie pan in the oven (middle rack), and bake for 35 - 45 minutes (rotate the pan halfway through). Let cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan and flip onto a flat, serving surface. *If your serving dish is not flat, place a sheet of parchment or baking paper on a baking sheet, put on top of the pie tin, hold together, and flip over. Your cake should now be resting, face up, on the baking sheet and can easily be transferred to your serving dish.

This is what it will look like when done
As I said, my cake was more of a 'bread,' which is why I christened it the Upside-Down Apple Bread and served it for breakfast, warmed up with some maple syrup and a few slices of bacon (c'mon guys, did you really think i'd get through a whole recipe without mentioning bacon?).

Serve it whichever way you like and feel free to improvise. Bon appetit!


- 9 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
- 3 medium apples, Mutsu or Golden Delicious (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced into  wedges
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 tbsp = about half a lemon)
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I added another tsp)
- 1/2 c granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c whole milk (I added another 1/4 -1/3 c)

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