when it comes to dessert, i've always been more of a pumpkin pie (or pumpkin cheesecake) person - and eating a slice for breakfast the next morning with a cup of coffee is really the best part. lots of people have apple pie for the holidays though and it wasn't until last thanksgiving when a friend brought a delicious homemade apple pie that i finally started to understand the allure. so when we made this with apples from our apple picking adventure, i knew it would be a great thanksgiving dessert! and it tasted pretty wonderful for breakfast as well! the recipe is from this cookbook - everything we've made from it, including this, has been so delicious. happy thanksgiving!!
Apple Upside-Down Cake
serves 8 to 10
for the apple butter:
1 vanilla bean
6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a pairing knife, scrape out the pulp with the back of the knife, and put the pulp and the pod in a medium saucepan. add the apples, a few drops of lemon juice, and the apple juice, nutmeg and sugar. cover and cook over medium heat until the apples are steamed and soft, 7 to 10 minutes. smash the apples with the back of a spoon until they form a sauce. cook over low heat, stirring frequently to allow the excess moisture to evaporate, for another 10 to 15 minutes. the apple butter is ready when it becomes thicker and smoother and is a rich tan color. let the apple butter cool to room temperature and remove vanilla pod.
for the caramel:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 apples, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
preheat oven to 350 degrees F. heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat and add butter and sugar. stir to combine as the mixture melts. cook until mixture caramelizes to a deep brown color, about 7 to 10 minutes. carefully add the apple wedges and transfer the skillet to the oven. bake 15 minutes or until apples are tender but retain their shape. remove and let cool slightly.
for the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
cream the butter, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. add the egg and 1 cup reserved apple butter and mix to combine. add the flours and mix just until incorporated. spread the cake batter directly over the caramel apples in the skilled and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. the cake is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. let cool slightly. place a rimmed plate that's larger than the skillet over the top and invert with towels or oven mitts. if any apples stick to the skillet, remove and put back on the cake. let cool 20 minutes before serving. enjoy!