This week’s cake in the Heavenly Bakers group is Apple Upside-Down Cake. I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures this time, as we were in the process of attempting to deal with a squirrel that had decided that our no-longer-used chimney would make a good entrance to the basement. He (or she, I didn’t look closely) has been trapped and taken to the other side of a river and across a busy highway, so hopefully won’t be making his or her way back any time soon.
I started out by toasting the walnuts for sprinkling on the cake. I bought my nuts at Costco, so had a few leftover. Into the freezer with you!
After the walnuts were toasted, I peeled and sliced my apples. Even though I have one of those old-fashioned countertop peeler/corer/slicers (thanks Mom!), I decided I didn’t really want to go to the basement to face down a squirrel and dig it out, so I did this by hand. With only two apples, it made the most sense anyway. I used Cortlands, by the way. Then I let the apples stew in their lemon juice and brown sugar combination while I got everything else out and measured, and prepared my pan. If I recall correctly, I put together a couple of batches of bread during this time too. Saturday was a bit of a blur.
The next step was making the caramel. I forgot to take a picture of this, but it involves melting butter, then adding some brown sugar and the juices from the apples. You boil that until it turns amber. I started with some nice fair trade brown sugar I bought at the Ten Thousand Villages just down the road, so it was pretty amber to begin with, so I just let it boil until it seemed kinda viscous but hadn’t started smelling burned or anything yet. Next, you pour that in the pan and tilt it to spread around a bit, then arrange your apple slices. Again, forgot to take a picture.
I mixed the batter up next, then spread it in the pan.
Into the hot oven, on top of a hot baking stone, and baked for the requisite time. It baked up nice and even, though I think my oven might be a little on the cool side, so it needed a couple of extra minutes.
After I waited a few minutes after turning the pan over onto the plate, I pulled the plate off, and voila! Beautiful upside-down cake.
My husband and I both agreed — it didn’t absolutely need the Bourbon whipped cream, but it complemented it nicely. With the Cortland apples, the cake wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet, but I don’t know how it would have been with another variety. It was very nicely balanced, and the walnuts add a really nice crunch, even for someone who has never particularly liked walnuts. I think my tastes may be maturing, though, because I’ll willingly eat blue cheese, walnuts and mushrooms, and drink fairly full-bodied red wines these days. Guess I must be an adult or something. By the way, this makes a great breakfast. OK, maybe not on the whole adult thing. 🙂
7 thoughts on “Apple Upside-Down Cake”
If you are allowed to have apple coffee cake for breakfast, why not have apple upside-down cake? Yours looks beautiful. By the way, we went through a squirrel-in-the-attic adventure a few years ago. The people who trapped the squirrels promised us that they took them across the river and released them in Wisconsin. I’ve never been sure.
I know our little menace was taken across the river several miles away, because Jay (my husband) took it there himself. While researching how to deal with our problem, I found it interesting that there are supposedly several states where relocation of wildlife is illegal — you’re supposed to euthanize in those locations, apparently. We also found a couple of comments from people that are certain that the wildlife control experts just take them down the block and release.
I’m just hoping we make it through this winter without any more visitors. We’re going to have my cousin take the chimney down to the roof level and patch the roof in the spring. It’s for the old oil furnace, which was the first thing we replaced (with a natural gas hookup).
I must admit, I’ve been enjoying my cake with breakfast too. Great with coffee and a sweet way to start the morning. Nice documentation of your baking process. Your cake turned out great.
My original intention when I started this project was to bring the results in to work and share. So far, my coworkers haven’t seen any of it!
I like how you arranged the apples. It turned out great. Funny how your coworkers haven’t had a chance to “taste test” it yet :o)
I like your comment about the being adults. Must be huh since we know terms like mise en place? 🙂
Great job Kristina – loved reading about the squirrel. Friends of ours had one get locked in their basement when they were on vacation for 2 weeks. It tried to eat through all the window sills, “eliminated” all over the place, got into all kinds of things, and the poor little guy eventually died down there. You wouldn’t believe the amount of damage one squirrel can do.