I think my husband finally found a cake that he loved, even though it didn’t have frosting on it. No frosting, just a ton of sticky, sweet caramel sauce. Darn that The Craft of Baking Book, I was seriously tempted to break my policy of not eating baked apples, that’s how good this cake looked and smelled. And even though I didn’t try a slice, several others did, and said it was divinely delicious.
This recipe is adapted from The Craft of Baking (because as always, we don't follow recipes too strictly in our house, and must have some compulsive need to change them when we can.)
Caramelized-Apple Skillet Cake
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Granny Smith Apples
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus an additional 3 Tbsp.
- 3 Tbsp. coarse yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a 10 inch cast iron skillet, combine 1 cup of the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water stirring to make sure all the sugar is dampened by the water. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar turns a golden brown caramel color. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the softened butter.
- Peel, core, and use a knife to cut the apples crosswise into 1/8 of an inch thick rings. Layer the apple rings tightly together over the caramel in the bottom of the skillet. Make sure they overlap.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, 6 table spoons of butter and the vanilla. Beat the ingredients together on medium speed, until they are light fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the buttered mixture in the electric mixer bowl. Then add half of the whole milk to the batter and mix on low. Continue mixing and add another 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter and the other half of the milk. Then add the last 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter. When it’s all combined turn the mixer off and use a spatula to transfer the batter into a separate large bowl.
- Clean and dry the bowl to the electric mixer. Add the 2 egg whites, and use the whisk attachment to beat into soft peaks on medium speed. This might take 4 minutes or so. When the peaks have formed, fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Pour the batter over the apples in the skillet and spread it out evenly. Bake, rotating the skillet halfway through, until the top of the cake is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool in the skillet for about 30 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a plate. You can serve this cake warm or at room temperature.