One of the things that I really appreciate about this cake is that it isn’t fussy. The decorations are the apples themselves. Traditionally the apple is peeled, halved and cored; then with the flat side down on the cutting board cut across the dome of the apple using even slices. Keep the slices together! This is key. When you arrange them in the top of the cake they will look like you have sunk the apple half right into the batter. As it bakes they will begin to separate and you will get a beautiful pattern in the top.
For the batter I used Martha Stewart’s recipe which you will find here, with modifications. First, I only used 1 Cup and a few tablespoons of sugar. According to the recipe the 1 full cup goes in the batter but the few tablespoons are mixed with spices and sprinkled over the top of the slices instead of jumbled together.
The recipe calls for cinnamon in the sugar. I didn’t have enough for the recipe so I made up the difference with a pinch of nutmeg and about a quarter teaspoon of roasted ginger. The batter has no flavoring other than the vanilla so I threw 1/1 teaspoon of ginger another pinch of nutmeg into the batter. It isn’t much and it is not as potent as cake spice. It gives the batter just enough flavor without killing the taste of the apples.
I used gala because that is what I had which is also why I didn’t need a lot of sugar for the apple slices anyway.
Follow the directions in the recipe, sprinkling the spiced sugar mix over the top of the apple domes and a little bit over the cake batter.
This will give it a nice crust. While the cake is in the oven make up a glaze. I used Christkindl Markt Apple punch 1.5 Cups and 1 TBS rapsflower honey. Reduce to a nice syrup, not thickened but enough to really bubble in the bottom of the pot.
When the cake is done cool in the pan on a wire rack. Use a silicon brush to brush the syrup over the top of the cake an the apples. Make sure that some goes down between the cake sides and the pan where it pulls away from the pan.
Next time I make this I will use a metal pan instead of glass. I think that the metal will conduct the heat to the middle much better than the glass dish. This is a thick batter, it doesn’t pour. It has to be spread in the bottom of the pan. And if you use a sweeter apple like I did the added moisture (sweet apples sweat more) will change how it bakes.
Serve with the Apple Punch and you have a Fall picnic treat to die for!