Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake
This is the tweaked version of the Apple Upside-Down cake that I posted from Chow.com last year. By adding some vanilla and salt to the batter I was able to give the cake more depth. I also decreased the sugar and increased the milk making the batter easier to spread and a tad less sweet.
Don't worry too much about tiling the apples. I have yet to make a cake look as good as I wanted to look and it doesn't seem to affect the taste! By the way for a real treat try making it with butter and regular milk. The dairy version makes a great breakfast cake for Yom Kippor.
1 cup softened margarine (I use Earth Balance because it's non-hydroganated) or butter
1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (for two 2/3 of a cup)
1 teaspoon or cinnamon
2 teaspoon vanilla extract (for two 1 teaspoons)
2 medium peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples
1/2 a lemon
1 bowl of water
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup soy, rice, almond or cow's milk
1. Heat the oven to 325°F and grease an 8 inch square baking dish.
2. Peel, core and slice the apples and put them in a bowl of water with half a lemon squeezed in.
3. Melt 1/2 cup of the margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, sprinkle in the first 2/3 cup of the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the first (1) teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Stir over medium heat until sauce is smooth and a deep amber color (it helps to put some of the mixture in the spoon, raise the spoon a few inches and let the mixture drip back in to the pan).
4. Spread the caramel sauce evenly in bottom of baking dish and then tile the apple slices in tight rows over sauce.
5. Combine the flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
6. Cream the second 2/3 of a cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of the margarine. When creamed add the second (1) teaspoon of vanilla and then one egg at a time. Beat on medium speed until a batter forms.
7. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately and mix with the mixer until it is combined.
8. Transfer batter to prepared dish and spread over apples. Bake until a toothpick inserted in cake layer comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.
9. Let the cake cool for 5 or so minutes and then invert onto serving platter and serve warm or room temperature.