You know the seasons are changing when suddenly you’re not in the mood for peaches anymore. Of course, it doesn’t help that the peaches are no longer at their prime, aren’t as sweet and often have a mealy consistency. A variety of apples start to fill the bins of summer fruit at the farmers’ markets, as the warm days gradually turn cooler. It’s no surprise then, as Jewish people celebrate the High Holidays, apples take center stage on the dessert table with a variety of cakes and tarts.
For my holiday this year, I made several apple cakes and tarts. The first, a delicate French Apple Tart by Ina Gartner, was inspired by my friend Jackie. Sadly, mutual time constraints didn’t allow us to bake the tarts together this year, but we did have some time for a quick coffee and conversation. We settled on apple tarts, something we thought would impress in taste and appearance. I hardly had the time to buy my apples when Jackie texted an image of her gorgeous, flaky puff pastry apple tart. It inspired me to see my friend’s successful attempt at an apple tart and nudged me to get hustling on my own.
And so I made apple tart, two of them actually, and they were a hit at both holiday meals. I heartily recommend the recipe.
But of course, one apple dessert wouldn’t be enough, so I had to concoct another one. Again, I received inspiration from a friend. Suzy, who I couldn’t bake with either this year, was making her upside down plum cake. I must have had topsy turvy on my mind when I created this sweet, moist apple upside cake which got rave reviews. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, it’s a cozy fall dessert.
Apple Upside-Down Cake
3 cups apples, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons butter, cubed
½ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the sides of an 8×8 baking dish with baking spray and melt 4 tablespoons butter with light brown sugar. Add the apples and let the mixture cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat the butter with the additional sugars. Add the apple sauce, vanilla and egg and beat well. Mix in the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
Spread the batter evenly over the apple mixture and bake for about 30 minutes in the oven. Once the cake is firm to the touch, remove it and let cool for about 15 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and then carefully invert onto a plate by placing the platter on top of the dish and flipping the cake over.
Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.