I love apples, apple season, and fall in general! Every fall as far back as I can remember my mom would take my sister and me to the local orchard where we would ride a tractor up to a field of low apple trees. We would pick bags of apples every fall and Mom would make us the best apple sauce with cinnamon and raisins-which is best eaten warm of course. This cake reminds me of fall at home when we would have more apples than we would know what to do with.
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 4 Granny Smith apples (2 pounds)—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup spiced rum, Calvados, or apple jack
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 3 large eggs
Equipment: parchment paper, baking sheet, skillet, food processor, a medium bowl, mixing spoon, a fork, a 10-inch Bundt pan, a large bowl, cutting board and knife, peeler, measuring cups and spoons, spatula, cooling rack
- Preheat the oven to 325°. On a parchment paper—lined baking sheet, toast the pecans for about 6minutes. Then add the oats and toast for an additional 6 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour with the toasted pecans until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the oats, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, black pepper and cinnamon. Using a fork, stir in the butter until large clumps form. Spread the streusel on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.
- Increase the oven temperature to 350°. Generously butter a 10-inch Bundt pan. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Add the apples and toss until the apples are thoroughly coated.
- In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the spiced apples and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they’re almost tender, about 6 minutes. Scrape the apples onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until they are cool, about 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup, mix the buttermilk with the rum and vanilla. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the remaining 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar with the orange zest at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. At low speed, in 3 alternating additions, beat in the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture; scrape down the side of the bowl when all ingredients are incorporated to ensure that nothing is stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
- Spoon the cooled apples into the bottom of the Bundt pan, spreading them out. Scrape the cake batter over the apples and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake the cake in the center of the oven for about 60-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes.
- Invert the cake onto a cooling rack, or directly onto serving plate, and scrape any apples stuck to the pan back onto the cake. While the apples are hot, pack the streusel topping over the top of the cake. Let stand until cool, about 1 hour. Slice the cake with a serrated knife and serve.
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