It’s finally fall and with cooler temperatures comes more time in the kitchen. That crispness in the air brings to mind comfort food-pot pies, stews, braises and anything baked with apples. I’ve tried various apple recipes over the years and these are some of my favorites:
The recipe that I tried this time came from the Saturday “Off Duty” section of the Wall Street Journal. The article was titled “This Apple Cake is the Creamiest of the Crop” and once I saw creamiest, I knew I had to read further. This recipe employs a technique that was used when cakes were cooked in pots over an open flame. Cream was poured over the cake near the end of baking to ensure that the cake didn’t burn.
In this version the cream is poured over the cake before it is placed in the oven. The cream seeps down to the bottom of the pan and creates steam which makes the cake very moist and the apples very tender. Baked in a 10″ pan this cake rises almost 2″ high. Take care when you unmold the cake as it is somewhat heavy. I had planned on serving this topped with whipped cream but after tasting the crumb and realizing just how creamy this cake is, I decided against it. I did however break out the vanilla ice cream!
Super Moist Apple Cake With Cinnamon Sugar
2 cups sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
¾ cup whole milk
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
¾ cup heavy cream
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round, 2-inch-deep cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1½ cups sugar and butter until light in color, 3-5 minutes. Scrape down bowl as necessary and continue beating until mixture is very light in texture and color, several minutes more. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping bowl between additions.
Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt. Alternate between mixing milk and dry ingredients into butter mixture, stopping to scrape bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and mix batter just until smooth. Do not overbeat.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread with a rubber spatula to evenly cover pan. Arrange apple slices in overlapping concentric circles on top of the batter, taking care to completely cover it. Pour cream evenly over apples.
Stir together remaining ½ cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle mixture over top of cake. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven, transfer to a rack and let cool completely.