Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Something Other Than Pumpkin Pie

Posted November 24, 2009

Cider-Caramelized Apple Pound Cake
Adapted from Food and Wine
Serves 12

2 cups clear apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
3 cups granulated sugar
3 sticks plus 2 tbsp. (13 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 pounds large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground mace (DT: I didn’t have mace so I just added a little extra nutmeg)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

1.  Make the cake: In a large saucepan, boil the apple cider over high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the granulated sugar and cook over moderately high heat until a dark amber caramel forms, about 4 minutes.  Off the heat swirl in 2 tablespoons of the butter until melted.  Add the apples and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are softened and have absorbed a lot of the syrup, about 8 minutes.  Pour the apples into a heatproof bowl and let cool.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the lower third.  Grease a 12-cup bundt pan.  Sift the cake flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, salt, and baking soda into a bowl.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 3 sticks of butter until creamy.  Add the remaining 2 cups of granulated sugar and the vanilla and beat at medium-high heat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between additions.  Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream; beat just until combined.  Stir 1/2 cup of the batter into the apples, then stir the apple mixture into the remaining batter.

3.  Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top is golden and cracked and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.  Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to cool completely.

4.  Make the glaze: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the brown sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until thick and smooth.  Gradually stir in the heavy cream and bring to a boil.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and bubbling, 3 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Sift the confectioners’ sugar directly into the pot and add the vanilla.

5.  Lay a piece of wax paper under the rack.  Drizzle glaze all over it.  Sprinkle with pecans.

(The cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature overnight or refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

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