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. 🙂