A couple of weeks ago my fiance bought me some apples. Cute and little they were, but their flavor was more reminiscent of cardboard than apples. So instead of throwing them out, I decided to make some baked goods with them. I have recently run into quite a bit of free time and have decided to give baking another shot. It seems like it's that time of the year again where I will bake frantically for 2 or 3 weeks straight and then vow to never do it again!
I found a nice and easy upside down apple cake recipe. It was extremely easy to put together and actually quite impressive looking! It does require making a quick caramel and some coring and slicing of apples. I tweaked the recipe a bit to add some more zing to it and it turned out fabulous! I was quite proud of myself. I will add this though: make sure you take the caramel to that perfect amber stage. Thinking that the residual heat will finish it in the pan, I turned it off and it turned out a bit too light. The next time I make this, I will be sure to take the caramel to a darker stage.
*I found that because the cake uses caramel and there is sugar in the batter, that it was a bit too sweet. In the recipe below I have adjusted the amount of sugar so that it is not that sweet.*
Ingredients 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish 1 1/4 Large Apples, Peeled and Sliced 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature 1/3 cup sour cream 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the apples in the dish.
3. Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, making sure the entire time you DO NOT stir the caramel, this will cause crystallization. 4. Pour evenly over the apple slices. 5. Cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. 6. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. 7. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. 8. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix only until combined. 9. Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. 10. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.
*I actually ran out of regular granulated sugar and ended up using raw cane sugar in the batter instead. The batter still came out great! *
Years ago, I followed my dreams and went to culinary school. I went to culinary school to continue the dream that my mother and I always shared: to open up a deli or cafe somewhere and call it our own. Whether that cafe will ever open is still up in the air...but my cooking and my love for food I owe to my mother...and in a way this blog is dedicated to her...I only hope that I can inspire other women with this blog the way my mother inspired me...With her love for food passed onto me, I quickly became a food snob after culinary school. Today, a house, a husband' (and his stomach),and an up and coming business keeps me busy enough without all my gourmet concoctions! But, no matter how busy I am, I still go to my kitchen and cook to retain my sanity. Prehaps this is a way I connect to my mother...but cooking is the only thing that truely soothes my soul. My recent transformation has led me to belive that sometimes you just have to Keep It Simple Stupid...and Cook!
I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead - not sick, not wounded - dead. ~Woody Allen
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~Mark Twain
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want. ~Gael Greene
Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are. ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
And, of course, the funniest food of all, kumquats. ~George Carlin
Avoid fruit and nuts. You are what you eat. ~Jim Davis
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~George Miller
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. ~Anonymous
But those aren't the flavors. That'd make too much sense. Apple and pear, according to Dr. Phil, are body types the bars are made for. Hey, I've got some advice. If you look like an apple or a pear, eat an apple or a pear! [On Dr. Phil's energy bars. ~Lewis Black