Caramel Apple – Not Pineapple – Upside-Down Cake

Celebrate fall with a twist on a dessert classic.

Online Jewish Week Columnist
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This Sunday officially marks the first day of fall, which means apple desserts. I've made apple muffins, apple crumbles and apple pies galore, but I wanted to try something a little bit different. So when I got the inspiration for an apple upside down cake, I knew I had to try it.

The classic upside down cake is pineapple, but I've never really liked that, especially with its retro looking maraschino cherries stuck in the middle of each slice. This cake is a bit more like a tarte tatin, a French dessert in which fruit -- usually apples -- are caramelized in sugar and butter in a skillet, before being topped with puff pastry or pie dough and baked. Then, of course, you hold your breath when you flip it over and hope it came out alright.

I had a similar breath-holding moment when I flipped this cake out of the pan, but it turned out beautifully. You might want to place some foil or a plate underneath the wire rack, as some of the caramel topping will drip down the sides after being flipped. This is lovely served warm with some ice cream or room temperature as a snack.

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

Ingredients: 
Topping:
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons honey
2 to 3 medium apples
Cake:
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk or soy milk
Recipe Steps: 
Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan and set aside.Peel and slice the apples into about 1/2 slices, set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar, butter and honey for the topping, stirring together until it forms a cohesive sauce. Bring it to a low boil, and let cook for two minutes, then remove from heat.
Pour the sauce into the cake pan. Arrange the apple circles over the sauce in a circle, or any pattern of your choice.
For the cake, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine. Add in the vanilla and milk. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix until just combined.
Carefully spread the batter over the apples. Bake on 350F for 35 to 45 minutes until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in pan for five minutes then invert onto a wire rack.