Maple Apple Upside Down Cake, adapted from foodandwine.com
This case was a little complicated because there are multiple steps and a few bowls involved, but I was still able to whip it up in the evening after a long day at work. I think it is essential to this recipe that you use Granny Smith rather than any other kind of apples. The maple syrup is super sweet, and it needs the sour apples to balance it out. The cake as a whole is really well balanced - the cake part is not too sweet, a little dense, the apples still have some bite and are very fresh and bright and then in comes the wallop and comfort of maple syrup. A wonderful combo.
1 cup real maple syrup
3-4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into eighths
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/3 cups of sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour or spray a 10 inch cake pan. (You can use a 9 inch pan, who will not use all the batter.)
- In a small saucepan bring the maple syrup to a boil, then quickly lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened. What the syrup like a hawk so it doesn't boil over and it doesn't burn.
- Pour the syrup into the bottom of the cake pan.
- Add the apples, placing them in two concentric circles in the pan.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
- Combine the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together.
- In the bowl of an electric mixture with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour, a third of the bowl at a time, alternating with the wet ingredients, a third at a time.
- Mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter over the apples and smooth over the apples with a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is lightly browned and a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan on a rack for 50 minutes.
- To unmold, place a pan on top of the cake pan and carefully flip over. Cake should come out easily