an amazing visit from a close friend made a cake possible. visiting western pennsylvania mid-autumn would be fruitless if a trip to the apple orchard wasn’t made! there are many in our area, but we chose simmons. we have only been to a few area farms here, and have been chosing them based on whim. we made the hour or so drive out of town on a drizzly day, and had a blast! even though it pretty grey out there, it was beautiful. rows and rows of apple trees, as far as the eye could see. -and beyond that, a grand view across the valley.
we paid our $16 or so for a giant empty bag, and headed out to the orchard to fill it up with whatever we desired, sampling along the way. -stuffing our faces, really. it’s like we’d never seen apples before. a hundred apples lay under each tree, decomposing. i guess we hit the orchard a few weeks late, but there was still a generous selection left on the trees.
we stomped through the breaking apples, picking some up along the way to throw at each other and at dead trees. we finally filled up our giant bag of apples with red and green ones, sweet and tart. truth be told, the cake we needed these apples for only requires 3 apples. yep. 3. how many did we get? i think it was a peck.
we bought a few tiny pumpkins, too. there is a great little shop on site, where they sell jams and fruit butters, canned vegetables, and fresh produce. oh, and did i mention there were goats, chickens, and ducks? only the goats would hang with us, though. how fun! they followed us around, eating our clothes and fighting each other for our attention.
this orchard was great, and if you are in the area, i strongly recommend going before it’s too late! i know they have a pumpkin patch, but am unsure of how late in the season they stay open.
after getting back, christine and i wasted no time getting busy on a very easy to make cake. i’ve actually made this cake 4 times now, each time with slightly different results. it requires very few ingredients. i’ve made it with very expensive almond flour that i order online, bob’s red mill brand almond flour, and almond meal that i get from trader joe’s. i have to say, the trader joe’s brand made the best base for the cake. it came out very sturdy, but moist. it also resulted the least esthetically pleasing result, because the base of the cake turned out very dark in color due to the almond skins. but who cares if it’s dark?
the apples were soft and tender, glazed with butter and cinnamon. this has become a regular cake in our house. we just gobble it up. i have to thank the writer at comfy belly for this recipe. it’s hard to find a seasonal cake recipe that is grain free. it’s packed with protein and fiber, so we don’t feel guilty when we polish the whole thing off in 2 days. plus, it’s got apples in it, so it’s good for us, right? right?
i made a few modifications, as i usually do. most importantly, i use a springform pan for this. i line the bottom with parchment and butter the sides for easy release.i’ve used coconut oil instead of butter, but the butter gives it a great flavor. i also get nice results using greek strained yogurt. i’ve also been using maple syrup for more of an autumn flavor. i’ll give the recipe as i have been making it with my modifications, and leave it up to you to visit her site to see the original in all it’s glory.
i have been using jonagold, granny smith, braeburn, and fuji apples for this. use your favorite combination of sweet and tart apples for this.
let me just say, this recipe is too easy, folks. even if you’re not gluten free, even if you don’t like fruit. ok, maybe if you’re allergic to nuts you shouldn’t make this recipe. otherwise, go to the store and buy up some almond flour. you already have the other ingredients. go! now!
apple upside down cake
for the cake base:
2 cups almond flour, packed
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 container) plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp melted butter
for the apples:
3 medium apples thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
preheat oven to 300f. prep spring form or regular 9″ cake pan with butter and round of parchment.
in large skillet, saute thinly sliced apples in butter, and cinnamon for 5 minutes or so, until they are just tender. -you don’t want to over cook them, remember they will cook a little while baking, too. remove from heat and put them in the freezer until cool enough to handle. then line the bottom of your parchment lined pan with the cooled apples, trying to do some overlapping so the batter doesn’t seep out too much. don’t be tempted to pour the sticky yummy syrup into the pan, it will only make for a soggy cake!
meanwhile, combine dry ingredients, breaking clumps from the almond meal.
separately, mix wet ingredients. be sure the eggs are well beaten into the batter to ensure an even and smooth batter.
combine wet and dry together.
sprinkle a little brown sugar over the apples, then pour the batter over them.
bake for 35 minutes on middle rack of oven.
you’ll know when it is done by using toothpick test, and cake is not jiggly when you give it a tap.
let it cool upside down for at least an hour. i usually let it cool for a few hours so the syrup from the fruit sets up before i invert it.
stores several days covered on the counter top or refrigerator.
this cake is so versatile and easy. it would be perfect with coffee in the morning, or as an addictive treat after dinner, especially on a cool fall night!
i know this recipe is very flexible, and would be great converted into a pear cake. i could see using it for stone fruits, such as peaches, so long as they were not cooked before baking. perhaps in the spring i will use rhubarb, and in the summertime i will use cherries.