This terrific mildly spiced loaf cake, loaded with dried fruits and toasted nuts, gets its special taste and texture from a very thick homemade apple purée. Because it keeps really well at room temperature, this loaf is something you’ll want to have on hand for…
with Greg Patent, Award Winning Cookbook Author
Duncan, Kate, and Robin. Duncan McDermott Graham (Kate’s son), Kate McDermott, and Robin Jacobs, the three musketeers of The Art of the Pie workshop. It’s rare that I get to take classes from a professional baker because I’m the one who usually gives the classes.…
This cake makes a fine change of pace dessert for a Thanksgiving dinner. The key to the success of this cake is a preliminary cooking of the apples on top of the stove. Apples in an upside-down cake should be tender and completely cooked. No crunch, please. Firm-sweet apples, such as Cameo or Braeburn, are excellent in this cake because they hold their shape and deliver a sweetness that complements the buttery brown sugar topping. Browning the butter before combining it with brown sugar and cinnamon adds a nutty caramel flavor. This cake is best when very fresh, and it reheats beautifully the next day in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
I found this recipe years ago in a publication whose name I do not remember. I had torn the recipe out and zipped it into my briefcase and I said to myself: “I’ve gotta make this.” Finally, this past Thanksgiving, I kept my promise. Normally our Thanksgiving gatherings are fairly small affairs, but Thanksgiving 2015 was special because our entire family got together. This recipe makes a huge yield. The bars are rich, rich rich, and one bar will definitely satisfy, especially after a big meal and a sampling of a few pies. I followed the recipe as written but I omitted the caramel sauce because I felt that was overkill. Here it is. I measured the flour by spooning it into the measuring cups and leveling off.
I like lots of apples in my pie, about 5 pounds worth, and I’ve found that by partially cooking the apples first in butter with sugar and spices, the apple flavor becomes concentrated, the apples reduce in volume, allowing me to pack a huge amount of flavor into a pie–and I don’t need to use any flour or cornstarch as a thickener. Another bonus, the apples will be tender. No crunchy apples for me, please.
A few years ago I was asked to judge a local apple cooking contest. The recipes were incredibly diverse and ranged from apple leather to apple pizza. But there was one recipe that stood out from all the rest: apple muffins. These were the lightest apple muffins I had ever tasted and they boasted a deep apple flavor along with a generous amount of diced sweet/tart apple.