Homemade desserts are becoming increasingly rare, at least among the people I know. In New York City there is no shortage of incredible places to buy a scrumptious sweet on a whim, from ButterCup to Crumbs and beyond. Perhaps that’s why something homemade just seems that much more magical.
On a gorgeous fall day in the North East there is no better magic than apple pie.
This apple adventure started when our dear friends M&K invited us out for their annual apple-picking adventure at Outhouse Orchards in Brewster, New York. It was little Bea’s first time and my enthusiasm got the better of me. A few hours and 40lbs of delicious Macintosh apples later, we were on our way home.
A week passed and that big bag of apples was just staring at me begging to become something sweet.
I rarely bake without a destination for the dessert in mind so as I deliberated over the fate of my apples, I also thought about who was in line for a sweet surprise. It made the decision that much easier.
I thought about my recent birthday weekend and how the talented team at INsider New York, a fabulous group of women who can make ANYTHING happen in a pinch, used their inside connections to get me into some of Las Vegas’ top restaurants. A reward was definitely in order.
Their lead by a dear friend who is a brilliant businesswoman with a terrific sense of humor and a very serious take no prisoners attitude. A classic apple pie just wouldn’t fit the bill.
Spicy Apple Cake is much more appropriate.
This recipe is from William Sonoma. I used it over and over and I love it! My husband does too! You can use any type of apples in season. It worked really well with Macintosh. I skip the raisins and use a little less allspice than the recipe calls for to keep it spicy but not too spicy!
The best part… delivering it to the team at INsider and hearing how much they enjoyed it.
• 3 apples
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 cup golden raisins
• 2 Tbs. granulated sugar mixed with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan.
Core and thinly slice the apples, leaving the skin intact. In a bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, butter and egg. Stir in two-thirds of the apple slices.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture along with the raisins, stirring until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the remaining apple slices in a pattern on top, pressing them gently into the batter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake until the cake is golden and springy to the touch, about 50 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake stand in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges to serve. Serves 8 to 10.