I know I shouldn’t complain (already!), especially because Seattle did spring and summer so right, but the fall here in the PNW has left a little to be desired. There has been a lot of rain and the skies have been mainly gray. I suppose I should get used to it. The other day, someone commented on the “winter so far,” as in winter is happening now. It was October 2! Of course, there have been a couple of golden sunlight-drenched days here and there (like the day I took these photos), and we’ve tried to take advantage of them as much as possible.
On the other days, my cooking has gotten heavier and heartier. As in beef stew heavy/hearty. And I’m feeling drawn to the oven again. We don’t have air conditioning in our home (it’s really rare in Seattle, apparently), so I did almost no baking this summer. But the cooler air has given me the itch again.
A couple weekends ago, I was in the mood for an apple cake and Kevin wanted an apple pie. This recipe is a perfect mash-up of the two.
Apple Pie Cake
Martha Stewart Everyday Food
This recipe has a very basic ingredient list and an unusual method. I had my doubts that it would come together into a cohesive cake in the oven, but, lo!, it did. Have faith. The result looks like a cake, but it tastes more like an apple pie. Which, of course, is not a bad thing.
2 cups flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
8 tart apples, such as Granny Smith
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using an electric mixer or a 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.
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.
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.