As autumn rolls around, I start cooking with (and eating) a lot of apples. In season, locally grown apples are a wonder, on par with eating seasonal, local strawberries, instead of the chemically ripened fruit flown in from miles and miles away.
So I make the most of the bounty in cooking both sweet and savory. Last week, I included apples in my deliciously autumnal Roasted Pork with Sweet Potatoes and Hard Cider Cream Sauce, and here I use the little beauties in a sweet preparation, that makes a wonderful dessert with a scoop of ice cream or a perfect breakfast treat.
An upside down cake is a chance to be really artistic in the kitchen. Feel free to arrange the apple slices are creatively as you can manage. Flip the cake over and you’ve got a really beautiful creation to share. Ginger and apple is an amazing flavor combination, and I incorporate the ginger in layers here, using fresh, powdered, and crystallized.
Apple ginger upside down cake
For the apples:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
2 apples, I prefer golden delicious
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan lightly with cooking spray.
2. Cut the butter into cubes and drop it the pan. Place the pan in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle over the brown sugar and the ginger. Stir with a spatula to combine, then spread the sugar mixture around the pan. It won’t cover the bottom completely, just make sure the sugar is not all in one place. Core and slice the apples into 1/4-inch slices and fan out over the butter mixture in an attractive pattern. Some apples can overlap, but you only want one layer.
For the cake:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1. Cream the butter and brown sugar together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt alternately with the buttermilk, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth. Beat in the crystallized ginger until evenly distributed. Dollop the batter over the apples in the pan, then use dampened fingers to press it out to cover the apples.
2. Bake the cake from 20 to 30 minutes until firm, golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it. Invert the cake onto a platter, leave for about a minute to loosen, then remove the pan.
Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Sweet potato and apple soup