5/20/11

Baking on Friday: Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake


Ordinarily, I wouldn't make a dessert-type cake like this until the first Friday of the month.  I have to ration my desserts to once per month or Mike's and my waistlines will suffer more than they already do.  Today, however, I hadn't planned anything for Baking on Friday, and I haven't been to the grocery store all week.  Soooooo . . . that left me with no alternative but to work with what I already had in my kitchen.  Since I had some Gala apples sitting in my refrigerator, this was a good choice.  I was hoping to make some sort of coffee cake, but they needed more sour cream than I had.  Or they needed cream cheese, and I didn't have any.  Or, they needed the buttermilk that has long since gone over.  I've made this cake before, and it isn't too terribly sweet.  I figured it would be a good stand-in for coffee cake.  Mike loves having something like this around for breakfast on the weekends.  (Mike does.  Ha!  I don't care about stuff like that, you know.)

The recipe first appeared in Everyday Food magazine.  It's very simple to do and if you have apples, then you probably have everything else you need.  It calls for a half cup of whole milk.  I never keep whole milk on hand, preferring 2% instead.  When I'm baking, I try as much as possible to stick to the ingredients in the recipe.  While 2% would probably work fine, I decided to turn to my trusty source on food substitutions.

I absolutely love this book.  No kitchen should be without it.  I have one in my kitchen at home and one in my kitchen in the trailer.  It's especially useful in the trailer since I'm often shopping at tiny markets with limited stock on hand.  It gave me more than a dozen substitutions for whole milk.  The one I settled on was this:  for one cup of whole milk, you can substitute 1 cup minus 3 tablespoons of water, plus 1/4 cup of dry nonfat milk, plus 1 tablespoon of melted butter.  Voila!  One cup of whole milk.  I only needed one-half cup, and so that's all I used.  There were many other substitutions available, but most involved half-and-half, and I didn't have any of that.

It can be a pain to peel and core apples with a paring knife.  I used to avoid all the wonderful apple crisps and such because I didn't want to do it.  That whole world has been opened up to me with the addition of two inexpensive tools to my kitchen drawer.  These are great.  First, an apple corer:


It works great for coring apples, but I use it to get the core out of fresh pineapple as well.  After you've cut off the crown and taken off the spiny skin, cut the whole pineapple in half cross-wise and use the corer to take out the core of each half.  It works great.  The core is a little larger than the bore of the tool, but you won't notice it in the eating, I promise. 

Second, I like these y-style peelers for apples and potatoes, or anything round.  The more conventional style peeler works better for long things like carrots and cucumbers.
These tools are both inexpensive, and they'll save you lots of time in the kitchen.

By the way, I wanted to pass along this tip I learned from my dear mother-in-law.  Do you ever get bugs in your flour, pasta, rice, cereal, and such?  If you ever have, then you know how difficult it is to get rid of them.  Here's the solution:  put one bay leaf in with those things, especially your flour, and you'll never have bugs again!  Just be sure to keep it on top of things, unless you like bay leaves in your baked goods.  I've been using the same bay leaf in my flour for years.  They get sort of crumbly after a while, and you have to replace them.  It's a good way to use bay leaves that have been in your spice rack for a while and may not be as good for soups and stews.

Does anything smell any better than an apple dessert in the oven?  With the cinnamon and the apples?  Mmmmmmmm.  Can't wait to dig in.

2 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Nothing smells better than baking apples unless it’s cherry crisp but who knows how to make that anyway?

PS-I won my second quilt in a charity raffle this past week; I am over the moon excited. Again.

Becky~ said...

Oh how did I miss this,lol.I love baked apples and cinnamon.Great recipe.