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Archive for the ‘Upside down apple cake’ Category

With the taking of this photo, it became officially fall

With the snapping of this photo, it officially became autumn

I have a backlog of ideas for this site, and I had made some ghetto apple crisp last week that I wanted to blather on about, but I figured I should write about something more substantial for you since I’m barely keeping up with this week to week. So here goes. Lots of pictures!

My love affair with The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook continues with the upside-down apple cake. Have I told you this book is awesome? Oh I didn’t? I don’t know what happened there. I’m pretty sure I’ll get around to telling you though, so stay with me.

To be completely utterly straightforward, I don’t easily get excited by things that are apple-flavored. It’s kind of ho-hum, a little boring or safe, a little, howshallwesay, vanilla. But it’s because it’s usually paired with cinnamon, and that combination is a little too predictable. Although it’s comforting to know that it’s always available, I’d love a change. And this recipe is a bit off-the-beaten-path, because it uses only nutmeg, and the taste ends up mellower and more harmonious than with the punch of cinnamon.

It all starts with some apple butter. What the recipe calls for—six apples in a saucepan with lemon juice, apple juice, sugar, etc.—makes more buttah than you need for the actual cake. Still, you’ll have some left over for anything you’d like: more cake batter, or slathering on some toast, so it’s not such a bad deal in the end.

Pictorially, you’ll see that the apples break down over the course of 40 or so minutes (duh), like so:

This turns into

This turns into...

...this turns into...

...this turns into...

...this.

...this.

Part 2: Caramelizing! Instead of just throwing sugar in a pot, though, the recipe requires that you paddle some sugar and butter together into a mixture first, then put it on heat. This is one of those instances where you come across something you wished you had thought of yourself. It’s like you’re making caramel brown butter. Ingenious!

Sugar and butter fluff

Sugar and butter fluff turns into...

Caramel map of the northern western hemisphere

...a caramel map of the northern western hemisphere

The most fun part is pouring the caramel, when browned enough, over some apple segments, and you hear the sizzle of the caramel seizing. (Just be careful not to stand in the way. Caramel burns = no fun.  No fun at all.)

Hssssss!

Then, the cake batter, which is pretty simple. But what makes it super fluffy is the apple butter, a cup of which you fold into the mix.

Into the oven, bake, then flip over.

cake time

All went well, except for that "bad apple" slice in the corner

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with some creme fraiche or whipped cream.

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