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Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Don’t toss green tomatoes into the compost
I took a stroll through a garden market the other day and found the smell of all the fresh apples so delicious I just had to try a couple of new varieties.
We are so blessed to live in this area of the country with so many varieties of fruits and vegetables available to us at amazingly low costs, it would be a shame not to at least experiment with new apple varieties. So next time you’re at any of the fruit markets, try a couple of new-to-you apples, you might find something that surprises you. Today I have two nice apple cake recipes; the first is gluten-free and the second one I adapted from Dora Davison’s recipe in the In Season Cookbook.
Gluten-Free Apple Streusel Upside-Down Cake
1 medium apple of your choice
2 tbsp. coconut oil (or butter), melted
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 cups crispy walnut pieces
2-1/4 cups blanched almond flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the bottom round of a 9x3-inch springform pan. Using parchment paper, trace the bottom round and cut the paper slightly smaller than the traced circle so that it fits neatly into the bottom (no overlap). Place the bottom back into the springform pan and secure in place. Lightly oil the pan and then place the parchment cut-out into the bottom of the pan and lightly oil. (If you don’t have a springform pan, you can use a parchment-lined 9x9-inch baking dish instead.)
Prepare topping: Core and slice one apple (about 1/4 inch slices) and arrange the apple slices in a pleasing pattern on the bottom of the prepared pan/baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Then toss the walnuts in the mixture until well-coated. Spoon the walnuts in a circular pattern across the top of the apple slices, filling in the gaps between the apple slices. Place the pan in the oven and bake the topping for 6-8 minutes, just until the apples begin to soften. Remove from oven.
While the topping is cooking, prepare the cake batter:
In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Using an electric hand mixer, blend (on low speed) the applesauce, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla, until well-combined. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet and continue mixing for a full minute, until smooth and well-blended.
Gently pour the cake batter over the partially baked apple topping, using a rubber spatula to help remove all of the batter from the bowl. Spread batter evenly across top. Place back in oven and continue to bake for approximately 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. (If using a springform pan, I recommend placing the cake pan onto a baking sheet, as some of the apple juice may leak out of the pan during baking.)
Allow cake to cool completely, then remove the springform pan and invert the cake onto a plate or cake stand to serve. (If using a 9x9-inch baking dish, place a serving platter over the top of the baking dish and invert the cake onto the platter.) Slice, serve and enjoy!
Streusel Upside-down apple cake
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
For topping melt butter in a 9 x 13-inch pan and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Arrange apples slices in rows over top. Set aside.
To make the cake, combine dry ingredients.
Mix together butter, milk, and egg. Add to flour mixture and stir until smooth.
For the streusel, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Spread half batter over apples. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Top with remaining batter, sprinkle with remaining streusel.
Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Invert over serving plate. Delicious warm with a dollop of whipping cream.
Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star's longtime food columnist, appearing every Wednesday and one Sunday per month.