Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake

 Since I started baking six years ago, I have learned so much. I've learned that no, the bakers at Costco who pipe perfect buttercream flowers onto the big sheet cakes are not magical fairies, but yes, they have had hours of practice. I've learned that some supermarket staples are a hundred times better when made at home, like chocolate pudding, but that sometimes, like for a late night at home with friends, nothing beats the ease and classic taste of bake-n-break cookie dough. I've also learned that fall is simply the greatest season for sweet treats.
 The warm, spicy flavors of pumpkin, cranberries, apples, nuts, and cinnamon make me think of long afternoons sipping cider and morning walks in the crisp country air. Yesterday, I wanted a perfect fall recipe, but didn't even know where to start. I had a can of pumpkin and three big apples, so I figured a spicy cake was in the works.
 This recipe combines the best of all these fall flavors. A moist, spice-filled pumpkin cake, topped with a layer of apples sauteed in butter, sugar, and cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice for this step too, not just for the cake batter) which tastes exactly like apple pie filling and is oh-so-addicting, and finally a sweet, crunchy crumb topping. It is perfectly sweet and hearty, making it wonderful for an October Saturday night filled with  preparations for this so-called "Frankenstorm" (officially no school tomorrow!) - good luck to anybody on East coast, and enjoy what will hopefully be nothing more than a relaxing day off tomorrow.
 Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake
(from Bon Appétit)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith apples (about 4 large)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

11/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. 
Combine flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt in large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside 2/3 cup of mixture for topping. 
Beat pumpkin, sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, spice, and baking soda into remaining flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Beat in eggs. 
Transfer batter to pan. Scatter apples evenly over top. Sprinkle reserved topping over apples.
Bake cake until topping is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to loosen cake. Release pan sides from cake. Transfer cake to a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

No comments: