apple cake

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!


sweet paul - finger food

have you checked out the winter issue of sweet paul magazine that came out on tuesday?! it's the biggest issue yet and full of beautiful photography and styling by all our favorite people. we got to contribute a fun story of finger foods and cocktails with some delicious treats for any holiday party!

also excited that we just picked up a few items we bought from elephant ceramics in the most recent shop update - gorgeous stuff you'll be seeing in some shots soon! finally made it to dinner here with our friend dimity and had an amazing dinner!! we are getting very excited for thanksgiving (the best food holiday of the year) - what will you be making?!


raspberry jam tartlet

seems like the fall colors are in full effect here in nyc and we've had some gorgeous warm days to wander around the city and enjoy! we've been busy working and playing so far this month - our friend ashleywas in town cooking on a yacht and we had a blast planning menus together and creating dishes in the galley. we'll be posting a few of the delicious dishes we came up with here soon - like sausage pretzel crostini and asian lobster buns! before she headed off to morocco we met for drinks at the breslin in a newly discovered cozy nook upstairs.

looking forward to the holiday issue of sweet paul magazine to come out next week! sporting these cute new toms to support movember and raise awareness for cancers affecting men. we've had 2 memorably great meals out recently - an indulgent comfort food filled dinner at the redhead and amazing pizza at Co.

hope you enjoy this cute little jam tartlet - perfect afternoon snack . . . or sweet treat for breakfast!

Jam Lattice Tartlets
makes 4

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbs ice water
1 jar raspberry jam
confectioner's sugar, for serving
in a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar and salt and stir. add butter and using fingers or pastry cutter, work mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with some small pea-size lumps. in a small bowl, whisk together yolk, extract and water and add to flour mixture. stir just until dough comes together and forms a ball. divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into disks and cover in plastic wrap. chill 1 hour.
preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease four 3 1/2-inch tartlet pans with removable bottom. keep on disk in the fridge and cut one disk into 4 equal portions and roll each out between sheets of parchment into a thin round slightly larger than the tartlet pan. transfer each circle to the prepared pan and press lightly to fit into pan. prick the bottom of the tart dough with a fork and chill for 15 minutes in the freezer. bake 15 to 20 minutes or until shells are golden brown. let cool slightly.
distribute jam among 4 pre-baked shells, filling almost to the top. cut remaining disk into 2 parts and roll into circles about 1/8-inch thick. cut into long thin strips with a knife or pastry wheel. assemble a lattice top across each tartlet, trimming the edges of all strips so they are flush with the edge of the pan. bake 20 minutes or until jam is bubbly and top is golden brown. let cool, 15 minutes in pan and then remove from tartlet pan and cool completely on rack.
dust with confectioner's sugar before serving. enjoy!