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Recipe Box: Upside Down Apple Cake

September 7, 2012

 Ohio is still clutching to the final heat of summer, but fall is in the air…you can feel it. I love this time of year. I yearn for it. I’ve started unpacking my boots and scarves . Pretty soon the leaves with start to change, and a cozy sweater will be necessity. The beginnings of fall in Ohio also means apple season has started, and I am looking forward to all things mulled and spiced. I picked up some local apples over the weekend but didn’t have the patience for a pie or a tart, so I decided on my favorite upside down apple cake…studded with vanilla and cinnamon and made extra moist with yogurt and olive oil. It’s not too sweet, and goes perfect with a cup of tea or a pumpkin latte. You could easily swap out any other seasonal fruit (berries, cherries, peaches, pears, plums) and it will be just as delicious. Enjoy!

Upside Down Apple Cake

adapted from Beatrice Peltre (La Tartine Gourmande)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter plus extra for the cake pan
  • 3-4 medium sized apples (any variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (preferably greek, but any plain yogurt would work)
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean or substitute 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup minus one tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (or substitute your favorite gluten free flours)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • dusting of powdered sugar to finish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9 in round baking dish.
  2. If given the time, I prefer to toast the walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes, until fragrant, before using. But it is not necessary, and this time around I just used raw walnuts, and it still tasted delicious. Coarsely chop the walnuts and set aside.
  3. Wash your apples and you can either peel and coursely chop them, or get fancy and slice them finely with a mandoline–core and all, just be sure to remove the seeds!–which makes for a prettier presentation, but isn’t necessity.
  4. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the 2 TBS butter on medium heat, and add the apples with cinnamon (if you use peaches, plums, or pears, keep the cinnamon. If you sub in berries or cherries, I would swap out the cinnamon for a tablespoon or two of sugar). Toss well and cook for about 5 minutes, until just slightly tender.
  5. Arrange the fruit slices in the bottom of your cake pan.
  6. In a large bowl mix the yogurt and the sugar. Add the vanilla bean seeds, and mix well. Add the eggs in one at a time, followed by the olive oil.
  7. Finish with the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and nuts if using.
  8. Pour the cake batter in your pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool before flipping the cake out–fruit side up– onto a plate or rack.
  9. optional–Dust with powdered sugar if you want a slightly sweeter cake.

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