Sunday, November 13, 2011

Maple Apple Upside Down Cake

Fall is my favorite season. I was born in the fall, married in the fall, Thanksgiving is in the fall...what's not to love about those events?! Apple picking is another event Chris and I take advantage of during this season. We usually go to Terhune Orchards in Princeton and sometimes we stay for the festival. They have pumpkin carving, wine tasting, grilled chicken, chili, hot apple cider and, as my husband always remembers, bees. Well if you just wouldn't swat at them they'd stop bothering you! Here are some shots from last year:

This year we went straight for the fruit. It was mid-October and there were only Granny Smith and Staymen Winesaps left, which was OK with me. I like the tart, crisp varieties myself. And both of these are great for baking. I decided to try an upside down cake--maple apple style. I tried another recipe from Food and Wine but split it into 3 cakes to share with family. The apples I prepared were enough for 2 but I had so much batter leftover I couldn't just throw it away. I had roasted some figs earlier in the week so I put those on the bottom of a pan to see how they'd come out in this cake...not sure yet since that one went to my parents but I'll follow up!

Maple Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes three 5" cakes or one 10" cake

1 cup pure maple syrup
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 in slices. The recipe says eighths but that was too thick for my pans
2 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
creme fraiche for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour your pan(s). In a small saucepan bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then simmer over low heat until very thick and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 min. Pour the thickened syrup into pan(s). Arrange apples in concentric circles, overlapping them slightly. This is harder than it looks, do your best but don't worry about it too much. It will still taste delicious!
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl whisk the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. In the 3rd) bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the wet and dry ingredients over low speed in 3 alternating batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the batter is smooth.
  3. Pour the batter over the apples and spread in an even layer. Bake the cake for 40 mins (5"cakes) or 1 1/2 hours (10"cake) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out free of crumbs. Let the cake(s) cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes.
  4. Place a plate on top of the cake(s) and invert. Tap lightly to release the cake. Remove the pan and let the cake continue to cool slightly. Cut into think wedges and serve with creme fraiche.
I forgot the creme fraiche for the pictures but it was quite good with it. The cake is sweet so the tangy creme was a lovely complement. Greek yogurt would work well too.
    I don't know why this picture is blue.


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