Thursday, July 18, 2013

Little Green Apples in My Cake - Apple Cake with Bourbon Sauce

This delicious apple cake is courtesy of Linda Monforte, one of the ladies from the church we attended when I was a child.  It is my favorite apple cake.  Granted, she did not pour bourbon sauce over it when bringing it to church potlucks, but I think it is a welcome addition to this delectable apple cake.

I find my favorite apples for this cake, even though they are not necessarily green, are Braeburns or Winesaps, as they seem to hold their shape a little better when cooking in the batter.  This is one of my strange quirks.  I like my Pie apples tart and cooked completely and my Cake apples a little sweeter and to have some tooth to them, so I know they are there.  I think it has to do with the nature of the two desserts.

With Cake, the cake itself is soft and spongy, so the apples cannot be cooked to mush or the whole thing would just be a soggy mess.  A little tooth to the apples lends interesting texture that helps to bridge from the spongy cake to the crunchy nuts. 

In Pie, the flaky pastry crust lends the contrast to the softer, completely cooked apple filling.  If the apples are toothy, or worse, still crunchy, then you end up with a big slice of "ewww!" on your plate that NO amount of cheddar cheese, caramel sauce or ice cream can fix.

Not that I am opinionated or anything.  ;-)

Linda Monforte's Apple Cake

2 large Eggs
1/2 cup (118ml) Light Oil (such as Safflower)
2 cups (400g) granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups (250g) AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1 cup (110g) Pecans, chopped
4 cups (500g) Braeburn Apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 4 apples)
Bourbon Sauce (see below)
Whipped Cream

Butter and Flour a 13x9 inch baking dish. (it's vintage Corningware P-21 for me, but a Pyrex dish will work too)

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees
In a small bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon and Salt; whisking to combine.

In a medium bowl, combing Eggs, Oil, Sugar and Vanilla, whisking well until homogeneous.

Toast the Pecans for 8 minutes in the oven, then give them a nice rough chop.

Peel, core and chop the apples, then place them in a large bowl.

Pour both the Flour mixture and the Egg/Oil mixture over the Apples.

Fold them all together until there are no dry spots, then add Pecans and fold until well dispersed.

Pour the batter into your prepared Baking Dish.

Smooth the batter out a little, so it's level.

Bake for 45 minutes to 55 minutes.

Until all nicely browned and delicious looking, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Place on a rack and allow it  cool while you make Bourbon sauce.....  OK, it's really more of a Bourbon Caramel Sauce, but, well...  It's a saucy caramel. (in more ways than one)

Bourbon Sauce

1 cup (200g) Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup (100g) Brown Sugar
2/3 cup (156ml) Water
4 oz (113g) Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (59ml) Bourbon (I like Maker's Mark)
1/3 cup (78ml) Heavy Cream

Combine both Sugars and Water in a medium saucepan set over medium flame.

Stir until the Sugars dissolve and the syrup comes to a boil.

Place a thermometer in the syrup and bring to 300 F Degrees.

When the caramel hits 300, remove from the heat and stir in the butter with a whisk (

Once the butter has melted into the caramel and there is no further risk of crystallization,

remove the sauce from the heat and add the Bourbon and Heavy Cream. (careful, it will bubble and steam again

Pour into a heat proof pitcher and allow the caramel to cool.


Once the Apple Cake has finished baking, and has cooled to room temperature, cut 3-inch square pieces and place on a plate,

drizzling liberally with warm Bourbon Sauce...

and top with whipped cream... Oh yeah, baby!

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