Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Apple Pie Cake

Apple Pie Cake - made June 13, 2014 from Martha Stewart
I think it's a misnomer to call this a "cake". The picture of it from Martha Stewart's website also seems misleading because that one really does look like a cake. Or I'm just lame and didn't channel my inner Martha well enough to make this more cake-looking. Because I swear, this was an apple cobbler rather than a cake.
If you go by the literal directions, it has you making a crumb crust. As in "pea-size pieces" which means you're not making a batter or a dough; it's flour-and-sugar-covered butter bits. Which is what I did and what I lined the bottom and sides of my baking dish with.
Okay, it probably didn't help that I made this in a real pie dish so it really did look like a pie but still, that shouldn't have mattered if this was truly supposed to be a cake. Unbaked, the apples mounded pretty high into a nice dome that I covered with the remaining crumb mixture.
Once it baked, however, the apples definitely cooked down and made a nice caramel-like syrup. The dome flattened, the crumb topping browned and the apples softened. I didn't time this (of course) but I took it out once the topping had browned and a toothpick poked into the center went fairly easily into the apples. If your toothpick meets with too much resistance, that means the apples are still firm and you want to bake it longer. If your crumb topping is browning too much before the apples have cooked enough, loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil then take the foil off about 5-10 minutes before you take the pie/faux cake out of the oven.
You can also tell the apples aren't cooked enough if the pie seems dry. If the apples haven't baked long enough, they're still retaining their moisture and haven't cooked long enough to release their juices and caramelize.
As cobblers (not cakes) go, this was good. You want to bake this long enough for the topping to brown and have a little crunch. If you like nuts, I recommend adding chopped toasted pecans to the crumb topping. I think that would have provided more texture contrast to the softness of the apples. You can also add some oatmeal to the crumb topping for more texture.
As with most baked apple desserts, I used Granny Smith apples since they were tart and offset the sweetness of the crumb topping. They also soften more in baking but don't get too mushy. This seems like more of a fall dessert. I still want to know how this was supposed to be a cake. Clearly, I'm no Martha Stewart because I just made an apple cobbler instead of an apple pie cake. Back to the drawing board.
2 cups flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
5 pounds (about 12) tart apples such as Granny Smith
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using an electric mixer or pastry cutter, cut in butter until the mixture forms pea-size pieces. Press 2/3 of the mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel apples, cut into thin slices and place in a bowl. Pour off any accumulated liquid. Toss apple slices with remaining teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice, and put them in the prepared pan, pressing down gently as you pack them in (they will mound above the edge of the pan). Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top.
  3. Put the pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and let the cake cool in the pan to set. Serve at room temperature.

No comments:

Post a Comment